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Facing No-Confidence Vote, Head of Pakistan's Balochistan Province Resigns

Balochistan's chief minister, Jam Kamal Khan (file photo)
Balochistan's chief minister, Jam Kamal Khan (file photo)

The chief minister of Pakistan's southwestern Balochistan Province has resigned hours ahead of a vote of 'no confidence' against him in the regional parliament.

Jam Kamal Khan had been facing criticism from the opposition as well as some members of his own Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) over the past few months.

"Jam Kamal Khan has submitted his resignation to the Governor of Balochistan Syed Zahoor Agha and the governor accepted his resignation," an official at the governor's office said in a written message to an RFE/RL correspondent in Quetta on October 24.

Sixteen members of opposition parties, who have also claimed the support of some members of the ruling party, had submitted a no-confidence motion against the chief minister last month. The speaker of the Balochistan assembly had fixed October 25 for the vote.

Minutes after his resignation, Jam Kamal Khan tweeted that "I have given my utmost time and energy for the overall governance and development of Balochistan. I would rather leave respectfully and not be part of their monetary agenda and bad governance formulation."

Members of the opposition have accused Kamal Khan of governing poorly, including doing little to counter high regional unemployment. He was also criticized for passing a budget that opponents said would further deepen poverty in the province. Kamal Khan had previously rejected all the charges as baseless.

Earlier, the outgoing chief minister had visited Islamabad to meet Prime Minister Imran Khan to seek support. Jam Kamal Khan's Balochistan Awami Party was an ally of the premier's Pakistan Tehrik-e Insaf in Balochistan.