Crisis in Baloch politics

Published October 11, 2021

DISILLUSIONMENT with Balochistan Chief Mnister Jam Kamal Khan Alyani has been increasing within the ruling BAP and his allies. Mr Alyani has been accused of an authoritative approach, which precludes consultation on important matters such as the distribution of development funds even within his cabinet.

The recent resignations of provincial ministers, advisers and parliamentary secretaries from their positions underscore the anger among his colleagues who appear quite determined to oust him through a no-confidence motion. It seems that BAP leader and Senate chairman Sadiq Sanjrani’s efforts to defuse the crisis are proving ineffective. Mr Alyani himself appears unfazed by the rebellion against him and determined to lead the province in his typical style, ignoring all threats of a no-trust motion. Two of his ministers had quit the cabinet a few months back while the opposition is also trying to topple him.

Read: Political crisis in Balochistan persists

Whether or not the disgruntled BAP lawmakers and an unhappy opposition will succeed in their objective of replacing Mr Alyani hinges on their ability to combine their efforts and win over the favour of those forces responsible for the creation of the party just before the 2018 Senate polls to deny the PML-N a majority in the Upper House. In either case, the political crisis in a province wrecked by years of insurgency and religious militancy is likely to deepen further in the coming months.

Will the instability cross provincial borders and affect the BAP’s allies at the centre — as has often been the case in the past? That too is anybody’s guess. Much will depend on how the powers that be want to influence the crisis to reset future political alignments ahead of the next election. That said, we must point out that the perpetual political instability in Balochistan is deeply embedded in the manner that provincial politics are controlled by non-political forces. Unless politicians are given a free hand to handle their disputes with each other themselves, Balochistan will continue to be rocked by periodic crises.

Published in Dawn, October 11th, 2021

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