Political instability is on the cards in Balochistan. The rift between the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) is now quite categorical, and it seems its political fissures will no longer be restricted to the province. The rejection of a no-confidence motion against Chief Minister Abdul Quddus Bizenjo on technical grounds has come as an upset. It has led to crossing of swords among allies, especially the PDM. The no-trust vote tabled by former chief minister Jam Kamal Alyani, the BAP president, could not harness the required support to be formally tabled on the floor of the house. This faux pas is now being studied by quarters in the province and the federal government, and keeping their fingers crossed.
The desolate province has for long been in the grip of lawlessness and its developmental mosaic has been uneven. Moreover, the tribal factor and the deployment of security forces have made it a contested ground, hampering political harmony as well as socio-economic cohesion. In such a wake, political discord is unnerving. Alyani was shown the door by his own allies, and he had to resign. Subsequently, Bizenjo who was elected unopposed as chief minister had to face a no-trust move, and that too again from within the ruling coalition. But what makes this change of heart fishier is the role of the PDM, which apparently had hinted Alyani of their support against Bizenjo. Now the theatre of political activity is the BAP party, which reportedly is contemplating its support to the ruling coalition at the federation. The wafer-thin government of Shehbaz Sharif cannot survive if BAP pulls out of the federal coalition, and this is where the climax rests, and not the under-developed province.
The country has been in the grip of uncertainty for the last two months – something that does not augur well for its economic health. A glance at the current parliamentary trajectory suggests that when Balochistan sneezes, the federal government sooner than later catches flu. So seems to be the case this time around. What is desired is a period of consolidation so that internal and external factors could be dealt with in harmony. Balochistan’s security decorum is too fragile to stand any political upheaval, and this is where stakeholders should huddle for exploring a way out.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 30th, 2022.