Balochistan: From one crisis to another

Uncertainty about next Chief Minister

The decision to resign by former Balochistan Chief Minister Sanaullah Zehri was a face saving move.  It also benefited  the parliamentary party as it stopped the prevailing divisions  from widening. Refusal to resign  could have led to  horse trading in the provincial assembly. As things stand there is a likelihood of the next chief executive too being from the PML-N unless differences between the contenders from the erstwhile ruling party become so acute that they decide to induct an outsider as a compromise candidate.

The no-confidence move initiated by the PML-N legislators against their party’s own Chief Minister was a virtual rebellion. This is also indicated by the dissidents’ decision to refuse  to talk to Prime Minister Abbasi. It appears that the PML-N leadership failed to take timely notice of  the confrontation that was developing in Balochistan between PML-N’s  parliamentary party and its   Chief Minister . What Jan Jamali said during a TV interview should be deciphered correctly by  the PML-N. According to  Jamali, Nawaz Sharif despite being the party chief  is so  absorbed in the affairs of Punjab that he has no time for Balochistan. So this time the dissidents will not allow the Balochistan Chief Minister to be chosen in Lahore. This shows the level of resentment over the PML-N central  leadership taking decisions about Balochistan without caring to take the provincial chapter  of the party into confidence.

With the resignation of the Chief Minister, the entire Balochistan cabinet and advisers have ceased to hold office leaving the province without a  political administration. There is therefore a need on the part of the PML-N dissidents and their supporters  to reach an agreement  on a new chief executive at the earliest. An undue delay in forging a consensus would not suit the province as it could threaten the stability of Balochistan which currently remains the chief target of terrorist attacks. Only two days ago on Tuesday a suicide bomber targeted a police van near Balochistan Assembly building, killing at least seven  including five security personnel.



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