The political crisis, as his own Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) attempts to depose Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal, could perhaps not have come at a worse time for the province, which was hit on Thursday, the day after Jamal was supposed to have resigned by Wednesday, the day before. Five members of his Cabinet, three ministers and two CM’s advisers, had followed his noncompliance by announcing they would resign, and that they would join the no-confidence vote against him, which 11 MPAs had moved, including a member each from the his own BAP and from the Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf. The BAP is in alliance with the PTI, to the extent that not only does BAP have a place in the Federal Cabinet, but it also has the Senate Chairmanship in Sadiq Sanjrani. Indeed, Mr Sanjrani is so important a member of BAP that he made an effort in a flying visit to Balochistan to convince disgruntled MPAs to retain Jam Kamal.
The BAP was put together to remove the PML(N) from office just before the 2018 election, but Jamal Kamal, who had been a minister of state under Nawaz Sharif, became BAP President when he became Chief Minister of the province after the 2018 election. To an extent, the travails of Jam Kamal reflect the PTI government’s failure to deliver, but it also reflects the pitfalls of trying to impose an extraneous choice, someone who has neither risen through the political ranks nor been through the political mill, in the province.
It should not be held against Jam Kamal that he is the hereditary Jam of Lasbela, nor that his father and grandfather were CMs before him. However, pedigree appears no guarantee of success. It may be a coincidence that the province has also been struck with an earthquake, but it is an unfortunate one. Just at the time that Jam Kamal would have justified the choice of those who chose him, by providing decisive leadership, he has been distracted by a struggle for survival. Prompt relief measures must be taken to minimize the adverse impact of the earthquake.