QUETTA: The constitutional crisis which surfaced after the Supreme Court’s interim order on October 12 reverberated in the power corridors of Balochistan to further rub salt into the wound of the vacillating provincial government as the apex court on December 5 hearing remarked that the provincial government was ruling at its own risk.

The recent ruling of the court on the Balochistan government has intensified administrative and constitutional crises for the provincial government in the upcoming days.

In order to strengthen the constitutional authority of the Balochistan government, Chief Minister Nawab Aslam Raisani has not only sought vote of confidence from the provincial assembly but also accelerated the pace of efforts to implement orders of the Supreme Court, which is evident from the fact that during a high level meeting, he decided to form peace committees at divisional level. It was decided at the meeting that besides commissioners, regional police officers and tribal elders would also be inducted in the peace committees.

The JUF-parliamentary leader and Provincial Minister Maulana Abdul Wasay has showed consensus on the proposal of forming the new force to curb the incidents of kidnapping for ransom and sectarian target killings. The new force would comprise police, Anti-Terrorism Force, Levies and Balochistan Constabulary.

The government, through the committees formed after the Supreme Court’s interim order on Balochistan to settle unresolved issues of the province, is also striving hard to satisfy the court.

A meeting of the committee was held last week, which not only discussed the issues of recovery of decomposed dead bodies and missing persons, it also announced concessions and privileges for disgruntled Baloch people provided they threw their weapons and dismounted from the mountains.

The meeting which was attended by Southern Command Commander Lt-Gen Muhammad Alam Khattak, Lt-Gen Obaidullah Khattak and other high officials offered Baloch people jobs in PPL, OGDCL and other institutions. However, Baloch nationalist forces did not pay much attention towards this offer because they think such offers are nothing but waste of time and also believe that their struggle is not for jobs but much beyond that.

Political observers say announcement of jobs for the annoyed Baloch people by the government is mere an effort to pacify the court, giving an impression that the government is working on all fronts to bring peace to the province.

They say, previously, the incumbent government had also withdrawn some cases against Baloch nationalist leaders and a general amnesty was announced, but the government did not take any concrete measure for the trust deficit.

The observers say recovery of missing persons and action against the perpetrators involved in ‘kill and dump’ incidents of Baloch missing youths would not only pave a way for trust building but also satisfy the court.

Nawab Aslam Raisani is, on one the hand, facing differences with his coalition partners while, on the other, slogans are being raised against him from his own party camp. PPP Balochistan president Mir Sadiq Umrani, who has developed serious difference with Raisani, is on the forefront in this connection.

According to some sources, the absence of Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik from the special session of the Balochistan Assembly is part of the efforts of Umrani who has been urging the provincial government to step down.

However, despite the constant refusal of Speaker Muhammad Aslam Bhootani to chair the Balochistan Assembly, the provincial government summoned a special meeting on December 3. Rehman Malik was expected to give an in-camera briefing to the members on law and order situation. The session was regarded as an important one and even the passes of media persons were also cancelled. However, the meeting concluded within only three minutes as the interior minister did not turn up, which enormously irked the legislators.

Chief Minister Raisani who also belongs to the ruling PPP told media persons that Rehman Malik disrespected the mandate of the Balochistan government by not attending the assembly session as promised.

JUI-F Parliamentary Leader and Senior Provincial Minister Maulana Abdul Wasay, later, talking to media persons, strongly criticised the interior minister, saying his absence had made it clear how much the federal government gave importance to Balochistan. He said it was not the first time; Balochistan had been invariably treated by Centre and its ministers this way. He said Balochistan PPP President Sadiq Umrani had predicted that Rehman Malik would not come to Quetta to attend the meeting.

Political pundits say despite several efforts to satisfy the Supreme Court, the Balochistan chief minister is facing difficulties because there is a group in his own party, which is not happy with him and it is evident from the fact that when Raisani was getting vote of confidence from the provincial assembly, the same day some PPP leaders, including Umran, asked the federal government at a meeting to immediately remove Raisani from the chief minister’s slot and termed his government unconstitutional following the interim order of the SC.

As far as other nationalist parties, including Balochistan National Party (Mengal), National Party and Pashtoon Khwa Milli Awami Party are concerned they are of the view that Raisani has no authority to further rule the province as he had failed to provide security to the people.

On the other hand, PPP Deputy Parliamentary Leader in the Balochistan Assembly Ali Madad Jattak says if the SC issues an order, they are ready to tender their resignations.

Let’s see Chief Minister Raisani and his gigantic cabinet succeeds in resolving the constitutional, administrative and political issues or not. In this regard, the next hearing of the Supreme Court will further clear the situation.

Constitutional experts say the apex court’s remarks that the provincial government was ruling at its own risk and cost have added a lot to the miseries of the Raisani government.