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January 9, 2018

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D-Day for Zehri today

ISLAMABAD: The Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) has offered the ruling Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) that if it is given the slot of the Balochistan governor, then it can help save the Zehri-led provincial government in the face of the no-confidence motion, sources told The News here on Monday.

The sources said the JUI-F not only demanded the slot of the Balochistan governor but it has also sought three ministries in the provincial cabinet in case it extends its political and numerical support to the dwindling provincial government.

They said the message was conveyed to the prime minister through the provincial chapter of the JUI-F and the federal government has to immediately decide over it because it may find no more time to ponder over it.

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi arrived in Quetta on Monday on the directives of the president of ruling PML-N Nawaz Sharif and made some crucial contacts with the dissidents and members of the opposition parties in the Balochistan Assembly.

Chief Minister of Balochistan Sanaullah Zehri contacted PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif on Sunday and conveyed that his ally JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman was playing an active role in the current Balochistan political crisis.

It is pertinent to mention here that Mir Abdul Quddus Bizenjo and Syed Agha Raza submitted a no-confidence motion against the Balochistan government on January 2, which was signed by a total of 14 members of the Balochistan Assembly.

In all, six provincial ministers have resigned over issues with the Balochistan chief minister and according to the dissenting group comprising opposition members, PML-N and PML-Q, the number would increase on Monday before voting on the no-confidence motion.

According to the data, the JUI-F avoided becoming a part of the provincial government and stayed in the opposition benches in the Balochistan Assembly. Mohammad Khan Achakzai, an economist and elder brother of Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) chief Mehmood Khan Achakzai, was appointed Governor Balochistan in June 2013 by the Nawaz-led government.

The sources said Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has informed PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif about the demand of the JUI-F and he would make a final decision in this respect after taking into confidence senior members of the party.

They said Nawaz Sharif has reached the Punjab House (Islamabad) and he would appear before the Accountability Court on Tuesday. Agencies add: The prime minister, upon arrival at the airport, was received by Chief Minister Balochistan Nawab Sanaullah Zehri, federal minister for petroleum Jam Kamal and the provincial cabinet members Abdul Reheem Zairatwal, Muhammad Khan Lehri, Rehmat Saleh Baloch, Ubaidullah Babat, Hamid Achakzai, Sardar Raza Bareech, Abdul Majeed Achakzai, other ministers and senior officials.

The prime minister was accompanied by Minister for Interior Ahsan Iqbal. Balochistan Assembly Speaker Rahila Durrani has said that the Tuesday’s session about the no-trust motion is very important and journalists can make recording but live coverage would not allowed.

Opposition leader in the Balochistan Assembly Maulana Abdul Wassay has told a press conference that there is no chance of his meeting with the prime minister with regards to no-confidence motion against the chief minister.

He was accompanied by former speaker Balochistan Jan Jamali, former deputy speaker Balochistan Mir Abdul Qadoos Bizenjo, Parliamentary leader of Awami National Party (ANP) Engineer Zmurk Khan Achakzai, former interior minister Balochistan Mir Arfraz Bugti, Tahir Mehmood Mufti, Gulab Kakar and others.

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