The No Trust Motion moved against Chief Minister Mir Abdul Quddus Bizenjo by fourteen members of Balochistan Awami Party (BAP), led by its President Jam Kamal, met with failure as two members switched to the chief minister’s camp overnight to foil the motion.
As par the total number of members (52 MPAs) elected in direct elections, at least 13 members are required to move the resolution of no confidence against the leader of the house. The Jam Kamal group submitted the notice of no trust motion with the signatures of 14 members. They included seven out of a total 24 members of the ruling Balochistan Awami Party, four out of seven members of PTI and three out of four from the Awami National Party.
The President of BAP and parliamentary leaders of both PTI and ANP Sardar Yar Mohammad Rind and Asghar Khan Achakzai were among the signatories. However, soon after the no confidence motion, PTI President Imran Khan through an order replaced Rind with provincial education minister Naseebullah Khan Marri.
According to Jam Kamal, who is a former chief minister Balochistan, the party’s support to no-confidence motion of PDM against Imran Khan was made conditional with the removal of Quddus Bizenjo in Balochistan. He said that all the major parties agreed that the Bizenjo-led government would be removed through democratic means of no-trust motion, but they didn’t come froward for unknown reasons.
It may be mentioned here that the PML(N) has no member in the Balochistan Assembly while its member Zahri Sanaullah Zahri, the former Chief Minister, quit the party to join the PPP early this year. Jamiat Ulema Islam (F) has eleven members who succeeded to muster the support of all three members namely Nawab Aslam Raisani (IND), Nawab Sana Zahri and Pashtoonkhawa Milli Awami Party’s lone member Nasrullah Zerey.
Jam Kamal offered JUI-F to form its government in the province with his group’s support, before the no confidence move. JUI-F wanted to support the no confidence move, but its close ally Balochistan National Party-Mengal didn’t agree. Despite being the opposition parties, both JUI and BNP as well as PKMAP are enjoying all perks and privileges like their due share in public development fund and postings/transfer and recruitment in the government departments. The preparations of the provincial budget for the fiscal year of 2022-23 have already started and at this juncture, all those enjoying the perk and privileges would not enjoy the Chief Minister and cabinet members to curtail these privileges.
Jamiat Ulema Islam (F)’s Balochistan Amir and federal Minister Maulana Abdul Wasey, who has lot of influence vis-à-vis the parliamentary group, while explaining his party position over the no confidence move, admitted that the PDM parties have decided in principle to bring a change in Balochistan, like they did in Islamabad.
However, he said it was not appropriate time to make such a move since all the opposition parties should be taken into confidence before such a move. He further clarified that the BNP-M has been a close ally of Jamiat and without its support, his party cannot make the no-confidence move on its own. “I have convinced Sardar Akhtar Mengal, the BNP head, to some extent but need a little more time to convince him totally. Jam Kamal took a hasty decision to submit the no confidence notice in the assembly and that annoyed Mengal,” he explained.
For any further move, Maulana said that change at the top in Balochistan would be made after deliberations among the PDM components.
Nawabzada Tariq Magsi, who resigned as Minister for Services and General Administration Department after putting his signature on the no confidence move, told this scribe that he was with his party head Jam Kamal at the time of submitting the notice of motion in assembly, but after the defection of two signatories, he asked his leader for withdrawal of the motion instead of pushing it further.
“But nobody listened to me and so I was forced to put a condition that if all the members came to the assembly, I will support the move, otherwise I would abstain,” he disclosed. Magsi dispelled the impression that he abstained because Chief Minister Quddus or any other government official influenced him.
The insiders confirmed that the move backfired because no ground work or proper lobbying in the government (federal) was done before presenting it. “The movers of the no confidence should have had meetings with all big shots including Mian Shehbaz Sharif or PML(N) supremo Mian Nawaz Sharif, Asif Ali Zardari and Maulana Fazlur Rahman or with their close aides before tabling it. We should not have gone for that extreme step, particularly amid a confrontational atmosphere between Jam Kamal and Sardar Akhtar Mengal.
“though Jam Kamal happens to be the maternal uncle of Sardar Akhtar Mengal through latter’s grandmother and Kamal’s grandfather Jam Ghulam Qadir was the maternal uncle of Akhtar’s father Sradar Attaullah Mengal, the political tensions between both the families are simmering because the Jam family has always been with Islamabad while Mengal has always been on the opposite side,” he explained.
Jam Kamal and his allies, particularly Sardar Yar Mohammad Rind of PTI and Asghar Khan Achakzai of ANP, were very much optimistic to get through the motion in the house. However, a night before the motion, Chief Minister Bizenjo and other ministers contacted Mobeen Khilji of PTI and Naeem Bazai of ANP both of whom later opted out of the move and did not attend the Assembly.
The government sources disclosed that demands of both deserted members, who are in-charge of their departments, include more powers as ministers and proper share in the development fund during the next fiscal year budget.
As President of the party Jam Kamal had also served notices to all the eighteen members of the party to be present in the assembly session and support the no confidence motion otherwise they have to face strict disciplinary action. Now it remains to be seen what action Jam Kamal would take against those members who defied him.
“Quddus Bizenjo is really very lucky as, despite being absent for days from the office, and despite his poor administration and governance, he enjoys the support of not only the majority members of the ruling coalition, but the entire 23-member opposition which include heavyweight political personalities like Zahri, Mengal and Raisani, all ex CMs,” said a government MPA.