QUETTA: The embattled Chief Minister of Balochistan, Nawab Aslam Raisani, struck back at his detractors on Tuesday by managing a unanimous vote of confidence in the provincial assembly.
The assembly session was convened by Acting Speaker Syed Matiullah Agha on late Monday night in open defiance of Acting Governor Mohammad Aslam Bhootani who had earlier in the evening put on hold a session convened by Governor Zulfiqar Magsi.
Mr Bhootani took the action after he assumed the office of governor when Mr Magsi went abroad on leave.
After victoriously manoeuvring his coalition partners, particularly the JUI-F, to stand by him, Nawab Raisani described the Tuesday’s session as historic and indicated that he would now move to get Mr Bhootani deposed by the assembly from the post of speaker.
Nawab Raisani had lately come under a lot of pressure from the Supreme Court and also from the provincial chapter of his Pakistan People’s Party.
Acting Speaker Matiullah Agha, who belongs to JUI-F, had convened the session on a requisition singed by 19 members apparently to demonstrate his party’s solidarity with the chief minister.
Maulana Wasay, Ehsan Shah and Zamarak Khan Achakzai moved the motion and the 44 members, who attended the session, stood up to support it, expressing confidence in the leadership of Nawab Raisani.
The house vowed to frustrate the conspiracy hatched against the elected government. It said joint efforts would be made to improve the situation in the province and remove the hurdles in the way of development.
Maulana Wasay said Balochistan, like other provinces, was facing the problem of law and order because of internal and external conspiracies. He said people of the province were facing a difficult situation and it was the responsibility of the house to review the situation.
Ehsan Shah, Mir Asim Kurd, Zamarak Achakzai, Sardar Aslam Bizenjo, Mir Zafarullah Zehri, Mir Ali Madad Jattak, Shama Parveen Magsi, Abdul Khaliq Achakzai, Mir Abdur Rehman Mengal, Ainullah Shams, Asfandyar Khan Kakar, Shah Nawaz Marri and Mir Asad Baloch spoke on the occasion.
The legislators said Balochistan had been facing conspiracies against elected governments since 1970 when the province was established, but the people had boldly resisted extra-constitutional moves.
They said conspirators had been using anti-people elements to create disorder, but political forces always defeated undemocratic forces through constitutional struggles.
The speakers rejected allegations that the coalition government was involved in embezzlement of development funds and was unable to protect the people.
They said situation in three other provinces and Islamabad was worse than in Balochistan. Dozens of people were being killed in Karachi every day and the situation was the same in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, but the Supreme Court did not take any notice of that.
They said terrorists had attacked sensitive institutions in Islamabad and Lahore but the court did not take any action against the federal government.
The legislators said the requisition for the session meant to give a message to some quarters that they had confidence in the chief minister and the coalition partners were working like a team or a family to foil all conspiracies.
They said they respected the Supreme Court and its verdicts and would accept all its decisions but would not tolerate any extra-constitutional or unlawful action.
They alleged that some political groups that had boycotted general elections in 2008 were using courts to create trouble for the provincial government.
They said they believed in the unity and solidarity of the nation and wanted to amicably resolve all issues but some elements were looking towards the US, India and the United Nations for help.
They said some individuals from Balochistan sitting in Dubai, London and Washington could not decide the fate of the people by issuing dictates from abroad, and asked them to return to the country and contest the elections next year.
They said the coalition firmly believed in a constitutional, democratic and political struggle to protect resources of the province, including the Reko Diq project.
They said exploiters were hatching conspiracies against the chief minister because they were not happy with his bold stand on the Reko Diq project. The legislators declared that they had no complaints against Nawab Raisani and ruled out the possibility of in-house change. They warned that dissolution of the assembly would be resisted through a constitutional and democratic struggle.