News @ 3 – 9th January 2018

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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has advised Balochistan Chief Minister Sanaullah Zehri to step down ahead of a crucial session of Balochistan Assembly to take up a no-trust motion against him.

Quoting sources, ARY News reported, the premier after consultation with the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) president Nawaz Sharif asked the embattled chief minister to step down.

Spokesperson for the chief minister Jan Achakzai, however, rejected such reports, saying there was no truth in these reports.

He said the government will defeat the opposition’s no-rust move in a democratic way.

He claimed that the chief minister enjoyed the support of enough MPAs to foil the motion.

Zehri seemed to be caught between a rock and a hard place with the opposition hell-bent on pushing ahead with a no-trust motion against him.

PM Abbasi landed in Quetta on Monday evening on the direction of the PML-N president Nawaz Sharif and contacted the members of the opposition parties of the Balochistan Assembly, but they refused to meet him.

The political crisis began with Mir Abdul Quddus Bizenjo submitting a no-confedence motion against the chief minister on January 2, which was signed by a total of 14 members of the Balochistan Assembly.

The crucial session of the provincial assembly scheduled to begin at 4:00 pm today to take up the motion will decide the fate of the Balochistan government.

It is pertinent to mention here that the chief minister had made a contact to former premier Nawaz Sharif to enlist his help in defeating the opposition’s move. Subsequently, the latter directed Prime Minister Abbasi to travel to Quetta to prop up Zehri.

The Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) is reported to have offered the central government of the PML-N that if it is given the slot of the Balochistan governor, it could help salvage the Zehri-led government.

Bizenjo, who spearheaded the campaign against Zehri, claimed he enjoyed the support of around 40 MPAs, which he believed was enough to sail the no-trust motion smoothly through the assembly.

A number of ministers have resigned following the motion submitted against Chief Minister Sanaullah Zehri.

Former premier Nawaz Sharif, however, claimed on Sunday that the ongoing political crisis in Balochistan was a conspiracy to prevent the upcoming elections of the Senate. He regretted that some of his allies had a hand in the crisis.

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