Political crisis hits Balochistan yet again

Published May 19, 2022
QUETTA: Former chief minister Balochistan Jam Kamal Khan speaks to the media after submitting a no-confidence resolution against Chief Minister Abdul Qudoos Bizenjo.—Online
QUETTA: Former chief minister Balochistan Jam Kamal Khan speaks to the media after submitting a no-confidence resolution against Chief Minister Abdul Qudoos Bizenjo.—Online

QUETTA: Just seven months after the submission of a no-trust motion against the then chief minister Jam Kamal Khan Alyani that compelled him to resign, Balochistan plunged into another political crisis on Wednesday when a no-confidence motion was submitted against Chief Minister Mir Abdul Qudoos Bizenjo in the provincial assembly.

Signed by 14 lawmakers, including some sitting ministers of the Bizenjo-led coalition government, the no-trust resolution was submitted to the assembly secretary by the angry Jam Kamal-led group within the ruling Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) along with parliamentary leader of the Awami National Party (ANP) Asghar Khan Achakzai.

After the move, both sides appear confident about their victory in the numbers game in the 65-member house.

Besides Mr Jam Kamal, the signatories were Mir Zahoor Ahmed Buledi, Minster Nawabzada Tariq Hussain Magsi, Mitha Khan Kakar, Shahina Lala, Mir Saleem Ahmed Khosa, Mir Arif Jan Mohammad Hasni, Sardar Domki of the BAP, Sardar Yar Mohammad Rind, Mir Niamatullah Zehri, Fareeda Bibi, Mobeen Ahmed Khilji of the PTI, Asghar Khan Achakzai and Malik Naeem Khan Bazai of the ANP.

Jam Kamal-led lawmakers submit no-trust motion against CM; Bizenjo confident he can ‘defeat move easily’

Interestingly, none of the opposition members belonging to the BNP-M, JUI-F and PkMAP, who had played a vital role in moving the no-trust motion against Mr Jam Kamal on October 20, 2021 and supported Mr Bizenjo for the top slot in the province, has signed the no-trust resolution this time.

Differences among the coalition partners had surfaced right after Mr Bizenjo was sworn in at the time of cabinet formation. The CM did not include Mr Rind, Mir Saleem Khosa, Mir Arif Jan Muhammad Hasni and some other MPAs in his cabinet who had supported Mr Alayni until the latter quit on October 25. Mir Zahoor Buledi, who was the first BAP lawmaker and minister to stand against Mr Jam Kamal and resign due to repeated changes in his portfolio, was inducted in the Bizenjo-led cabinet as minister for planning and development. However, soon afterwards, Mr Buledi developed some differences with CM Bezenjo, leading to his ouster from the cabinet and his subsequent return to the Jam Kamal group.

Some other lawmaker who were inducted as minister and advisers in the new cabinet also had reservation over the portfolios they had been given.

Speaking to the media after filing the no-trust motion with the assembly secretary, ex-CM Jam Kamal and Mr Rind said: “Although Mr Bizenjo belongs to our Balochistan Awami Party, his performance was not satisfactory. And we cannot ignore the ill-treatment with Balochistan. We have been observing the abuse of the province for the last five to six months.”

Mr Jam Kamal said the coalition government had failed to bring any improvement in the conditions of the province, which forced lawmakers of the BAP and other parties to move no-trust motion against him. He said they waited long enough for improvement in conditions in the province but the government failed to bring about any change. “We have submitted a no-confidence motion, deciding not to remain silent on bad governance and this abuse,” he said.

“At the time of change in the federation, we supported the same agenda of the parties in PDM. We will also support Balochistan for change.It is hoped that PML-N, PPP, Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam and [other] parties in PDM will fulfill their promise,” he said.

“Decisions regarding the new government and the chief minister will be made jointly,” he added.

Mr Jam Kamal earlier claimed that the PDM member parties had assured them of their support for voting Mr Bizenjo out of power. “We hope PDM will extend its support in the success of the no-trust motion against Mir Abdul Qudoos Bizenjo,” he said.

On the occasion, Mr Rind remarked that looking at CM Bizenjo, Mr Jam Kamal seemed no less than an angel.

Mr Achakzai claimed a majority of ANP members were with him as they have had enough and they could “not stand this sin anymore”. He said disgruntled members would secure the required numbers (at least 33) to remove the chief minister through the no-confidence motion.

Claiming that the motion was filed only after the “required numbers” were gained, Mr Buledi warned, “Now, graceful exit is to resign immediately otherwise [Bizenjo] would be voted out.”

If Mr Bizenjo opts to resign before voting, he would be the fifth such chief minister of Balochistan. Earlier, Mr Jam Kamal, Mir Taj Mohammad Khan Jamali, Sardar Akhtar Jan Mengal and Nawab Sanaullah Zehri had resigned when no-trust motions were tabled against them in the house.

However, opposition leader Malik Sikander Khan said the signatories of the no-trust motion against Mr Bizenjo did not consult the opposition parties.

When connected, BNP-M Chief Sardar Akhtar Mengal said his party, which was part of the opposition in the assembly, was also not approached by the Jam Kamal group. About the move, he remarked, “Most of the signatories of the no-trust motion are candidates for CM slot.”

A spokesperson for the CM Bizenjo said the vote of no-confidence would be defeated. He claimed they had been anticipating the move for quite some time and were prepared to “defeat it easily”.

Published in Dawn, May 19th, 2022

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