QUETTA: The ruling Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) and its allies failed to table a no-trust motion against Chief Minister Mir Abdul Qudoos Bizenjo in the provincial assembly on Thursday, as three MPAs who had signed the motion, withdrew their support and did not attend the session.

Former chief minister and BAP president Jam Kamal Khan Alyani — who was leading the disgruntled MPAs of BAP and two other parties, the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf and the Awami National Party — had submitted the no-trust motion against Mr Bizenjo last week with the support of 14 MPAs.

The motion bore the signatures of 14 lawmakers when it was submitted. However, upon its tabling on Thursday, the support was reduced to 11 legislators against the requirement of a minimum of 13 MPAs.

According to the Constitu­tion, a no-confidence motion needs the signatures of 20 per cent of the make-up of the legislative body to be tabled for discussion, while half the members must vote in favour of it to be passed.

Therefore, in the 65-member Balochistan Assembly, a no-confidence motion requires 13 members’ support to be tabled and 33 lawmakers’ backing to be passed.

Thursday’s assembly session, which was convened by acting Governor Mir Jan Muhammad Khan Jamali for formally tabling the no-trust motion in the house against Mr Bizenjo, started five hours later than its scheduled time and was presided over by Deputy Speaker Sardar Babar Khan Musakhail.

Mr Musakhail asked the movers of the no-confidence motion to produce 20pc MPAs for starting the proceedings. One of the signatories, Mir Zahoor Ahmed Buledi, presented the motion but could not produce the required members in support of the motion.

Only 11 MPAs of the disgruntled group supported the motion when the deputy speaker asked for voting, while three other members, who had signed the motion, did not attend the assembly session.

The three absentees included Nawabzada Tariq Hussain Magsi of BAP, Malik Naeem Bazai of ANP and Mobeen Ahmed Khilji of PTI.

The 11 signatories who were present on the occasion were BAP’s Jam Kamal, Saleem Ahmed Khosa, Mir Arif Jan Muhammad Hasni, Mitha Khan Kakar, Sardar Sarfraz Ahmed Domki and Zahoor Ahmed Buledi; PTI’s Sardar Yar Muhammad Rind, Nawabzada Naimatullah Zehri and Bibi Fareeda; and ANP’s Asghar Khan Achakzai and Shaheena Bibi.

During the session, Sardar Yar Muhammad Rind of PTI and Balochistan’s Minister for Agriculture Mir Asadullah Baloch exchanged hot words when Mr Rind tried to speak on the no-trust motion.

As they stood up against each other, other members intervened and controlled the situation. The deputy speaker, drawing the attention of a lack of quorum by a member, postponed the session for an indefinite period.

Jam Kamal and Mr Rind have said they did not move the no-trust motion against CM Bizenjo but against the bad performance of the government, increasing corruption, sealing of jobs, lack of development projects and no measures taken by the provincial government to resolve public issues.

Talking to the media after the session, Jam Kamal said he already knew his group lacked the required numbers, adding that “our purpose was to bring to light a number of things”.

He said the future course of action would be decided after consultation with the allies. “I am also the president of the BAP, and so the members violating the law will be served a show-cause notice.”

Jam Kamal said he would speak to the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) leaders in Islamabad, adding that he had already spoken to fellow BAP leader Khalid Magsi to ask the government about its “silence” on the matter. “Why did they not honour their promise made with us?”

Meanwhile, BAP’s Zahoor Buledi accused the federal government of indulging in corruption on a “large scale”.

Mr Bizenjo was elected unopposed as the provincial chief executive in October, days after Jam Kamal had resigned from the position following a months-long political crisis that had started with the latter’s refusal to grant development funds to legislators.

Published in Dawn, May 27th, 2022

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