Balochistan Governor Zulfiqar Magsi, before going on medical leave, had summoned the Assembly session for Tuesday, overriding the advice of Speaker Aslam Bhootani, but when he went on leave, Speaker Bhootani was appointed acting Governor, and cancelled the session on Monday. Speaker Bhootani’s reservation is that, after the Supreme Court ruling on October 12 in its interim order in the Balochistan law and order case that the Balochistan government had lost the right to rule, the advice of Chief Minister Aslam Raisani to the Governor, in this case to summon a session of the Assembly, carried no weight, and was to be ignored. It must not be forgotten that Nawab Aslam is also in trouble with his local party, which has put him under suspension. However, the government seems to have sought a way out, having a session requisitioned, which does not require any advice. Perhaps more significant, such a session is to be summoned, not by the Governor, but the Speaker. Speaker Bhootani having become Acting Governor, Deputy Speaker Matiullah Agha has become Acting Speaker, and duly summoned the Assembly session.Balochistan is not just one of the country’s largest federating units, but also has been in the international limelight because, among other things, of the separatist struggle there. That struggle and the unofficial military operation to counter it is behind the poor law and order situation there that led to the court case which brought about the present situation. The present confusion in the province can only compound the poor image of the country abroad.It is also essential if the crisis is to be contained, that the federal government was to admit that it has a full-blown constitutional crisis on its hands. It should not be forgotten that Speaker Bhootani’s appointment as Acting Governor was a federal government decision, an exercise of its discretion. The convention that the speaker of a provincial assembly act as governor is not binding, and under the peculiar circumstances of the province, need not have been followed. At the same time, the federal government must not ignore the party’s provincial council declaring the party’s own government unconstitutional. The easiest solution, especially now that the assemblies are so close to the end of their tenure, would be to go for an immediate dissolution, ordered by the government, not the Supreme Court. However, it should remember the best way of handling constitutional questions: an appeal to the electorate.