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Balochistan crisis worsens as Bhootani strikes again

November 13, 2012

Mr Bhootani assumed the office of acting governor on Monday when Governor Magsi went abroad on leave.— File Photo

QUETTA: The political crisis in Balochistan took a new turn on Monday when speaker of the provincial assembly, Mohammad Aslam Bhootani, in his capacity as acting governor of the province, put on hold a session of the assembly convened by Governor Zulfiqar Ali Magsi on Tuesday.

Mr Bhootani assumed the office of acting governor on Monday when Governor Magsi went abroad on leave.

The governor had convened the session on a summary moved by Chief Minister Nawab Aslam Raisani.

An official handout said on Monday that the acting governor had suppressed the notification issued by the governor about the assembly session. It said the assembly secretariat, on the directive of the speaker, had written a letter to the governor’s secretariat asking it to seek fresh advice from the registrar of the Supreme Court on the constitutional position of the Balochistan government and the chief minister in the light of the interim order issued by the court on Oct 12.

The advice was sought because the Tuesday session of the assembly had been summoned on the summary of the chief minister, the handout said.

In view of the interim order about the constitutional position of the provincial government and the chief minister, the acting governor had cancelled the assembly session, it said.

Mr Bhootani also directed the law department to seek advice from the court registrar in this connection, the handout said. A new date for the assembly session would be announced on the basis of the advice, it said.

The acting governor, it is learnt, has apprehensions that if he allows the assembly session to be held on the summary of the chief minister and later if in its detailed order the apex court removes Mr Raisani from office and the assembly is asked to elect a new chief minister, then he (Mr Bhootani) may be accused of committing contempt of court.