Balochistan plunges into fresh constitutional crisis
02 November, 2012
ISLAMABAD: The Balochistan province plunged into a constitutional crisis on Thursday when Assembly Speaker Aslam Bhootani refused to chair the assembly session scheduled for November 9-10 in Gwadar.
Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Aslam Raisani had requested the Assembly Secretariat to summon the session. Bhootani said after the Supreme Court's interim order in the Balochistan law and order case, the assembly session summoned on the advice of the CM was contempt of court. He claimed after the SC order, Raisani's constitutional status was in doubt and he was no longer the chief minister. He added the governor of the province should consult the Supreme Court.
On October 12, the Supreme Court in its interim order said the Balochistan government had failed constitutionally.
Raisani in SC: On the other hand, Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Aslam Raisani said he would appear before the Supreme Court on Friday (today) along with coalition partners, in the Balochistan law and order case.
Addressing a press conference in Islamabad, the Balochistan CM said the provincial government had full support of all its allied parties and he would present his position on the case before the apex court. "We will appear before the court and defend ourselves according to law and constitution," he remarked.
Strongly refuting the allegations that the he was not taking interest in the provincial affairs, he said he was discharging his duties in letter and spirit and his government was serving the masses.
Raisani also dispelled the impression being created by certain elements regarding inefficiency of his government. He said his government enjoyed full support and confidence of the people in the province. Responding to a question, he said the provincial government was not unsuccessful, adding that record development projects had been carried out in the province.
To another question, he said his party membership was not suspended, adding that no one could do that.
Raisani has also called a meeting of Baloch parliamentarians in Islamabad today to discuss the interim order of the apex court on the law and order situation in Balochistan.
Party membership: In an interesting development, Balochistan CM's party membership was suspended for as many as three months.
PPP Kalat Division President Rafique Zehri told reporters Raisani had been violating party policies for the last four and a half years and he had also been served notices twice, and now in consultation with PPP Balochistan President Mir Saddique Umrani, Raisani's membership had been suspended for three months.
"The chief minister was not addressing issues faced by the party workers who had voted him into power and he was not spending sufficient time in Quetta," Zehri said and alleged the PPP's position had weakened in the province due to Raisani's policies. "We had served him notices twice about violation of party polices and in consultation with provincial president of the party, we have suspended his membership for three months and asked him to submit a reply to it," he said.
Umrani also accused Raisani of involvement in the kidnappings of doctors across the province. Speaking to the media in Quetta, Umrani said the provincial government had failed in establishing law and order in Balochistan. On the other hand, deputy parliamentary leader of the Pakistan People's Party Balochistan chapter, Ali Madad Jattak, has said Zehri did not have the authority to suspend the membership of the CM.