YET another political crisis is brewing in Balochistan, where old rivals Jam Kamal Khan Alyani and Sardar Yar Mohammad Rind have joined hands to topple Chief Minister Mir Abdul Quddus Bizenjo from power through a no-confidence motion. Siding with them are some disgruntled provincial cabinet members. They have already been sacked by Mr Bizenjo, who himself had ascended to power seven months back when Mr Alyani was forced to quit the office to avoid the embarrassment of being overthrown through a similar no-trust resolution submitted by his current ally and PTI leader, Mr Rind, and his successor. Prima facie, those leading the effort to oust the incumbent or supporting the resolution have a personal axe to grind with Mr Bizenjo. It is too early to say if they will succeed in mustering the support of the required number of 33 lawmakers in the 65-member House as many must be waiting for an opportune moment before taking their leap of faith. But the move is going to intensify the political mess in the province.
Political instability in Balochistan isn’t new; it is a norm in the province that has been wrecked by years of Baloch insurgency, militant violence and underinvestment. The perpetual uncertainty has adversely affected development and increased public anguish and despair as a large majority of its people are forced to live in appalling conditions, enduring poverty, hunger and disease. Matters are made worse by the establishment’s increasing and blatant interference in the province’s politics, and their role in making and breaking governments and political parties in recent decades. The political turmoil developing currently is just another manifestation of the past and present shenanigans of the powers that be in the province. Even though the latest move against the Bizenjo government appears motivated by personal grudges and interests, the irony is that the outcome of the no-confidence vote will most likely be determined by the direction in which non-political forces controlling the province want the winds to blow in the country’s existing political settings.
Published in Dawn, May 20th, 2022