Balochistan cabinet shows confidence in CM Raisani

Ali Madad Jattack

Ali Madad Jattack

Balochistan cabinet shows confidence in CM Raisani

* Former food minister’s supporters stage demonstration outside Quetta Press Club, shout slogans against CM

By Malik Siraj Akbar

QUETTA: Coalition partners of the Pakistan People’s Party-led Balochistan government have expressed their confidence in Chief Minister Nawab Aslam Raisani in the wake of two ministers’ ouster from the provincial cabinet.

Raisani on Thursday sacked Food Minister Haji Ali Madad Jattak over alleged corruption charges. Balochistan Auqaf minister Agha Irfan Karim also submitted his resign to Raisani to protest Jattak’s sacking.

The chief minister has appointed PPP MPA Isfandar Kakar and Mir Saleem Khosa as the new Food and Auqaf ministers respectively. Babu Amin Umrani has also been inducted as the Excise and Taxation minister. The slot fell vacant after former minister Rustam Khan Jamali’s assassination in Karachi last month.

“I stand behind my allegations against the chief minister,” Jattak said on Friday. “He (Raisani) is clearly supporting the [nationalist] elements who plan to disintegrate the federation of Pakistan and form a separate country. The CM is acting on a ‘nationalist agenda’, which is unacceptable to us.”

According to Jattak, the chief minister was ignoring the PPP ministers which had disappointed the party voters. He said he enjoyed the support of several ministers who were equally dismayed with the attitude of the CM

He said they would not move a no-confidence motion against the CM until the party high-ups gave them a “green light” to do so.

“Once the PPP co-chairman returns to Pakistan, we will urge him to make a final decision,” he added.

Separately, the chief minister presided over a meeting of MPAs. Lawmakers of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl, the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid, the Balochistan National Party-Awami and the Awami National Party attended the meeting. Both former ministers claimed to enjoy the support of some 14 MPAs who intend to soon come up with a show of power against the provincial chief executive.

Political observers believe that the rise of sudden differences by the PPP leaders with their own CM heralds an attempt between the establishment to pave the way for mid-term elections in Balochistan.

The provincial leadership of the PPP has preferred to keep quiet over the row between the CM and the annoyed ministers. In a similar epoch of distrust, Raisani had fired four ministers from the PPP in April this year after they had complained about not getting ample attention from the CM. Separately, the former food minister’s supporters staged a demonstration outside the Quetta Press Club. They also shouted pro-Jattak and anti-Raisani slogans.

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