Motion to hold vote of no confidence against Balochistan CM Jam Kamal passed

33 out of 65 lawmakers present in assembly back vote of no confidence against CM Kamal

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BAP spokesperson Abdul Rehman Khetran presenting the no-confidence motion against Balochistan Chief Minister, Jam Kamal Khan, before the assembly on Wednesday, October 20, 2021. — Screengrab via Hum News Live.
BAP spokesperson Abdul Rehman Khetran presenting the no-confidence motion against Balochistan Chief Minister, Jam Kamal Khan, before the assembly on Wednesday, October 20, 2021. — Screengrab via Hum News Live.

  • Khetran says "assuming that he is the wisest of all, Kamal had been taking all decisions related to the province on his own".
  • "There is no justice in the province and the use of resources is not carried out in a responsible manner," says Malik Sikandar.
  • "It is not the mistrust of the Opposition against Jam Kamal, but the mistrust of the people towards him": Sanaullah Baloch.
  • Jam Kamal says disgruntled members presented their argument today, voting will take place in 3 to 7 days.

QUETTA: A no-confidence motion against Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan has been tabled in the Balochistan Assembly, Geo News reported Wednesday.

According to the report, BAP spokesperson Abdul Rehman Khetran presented the no-confidence motion before the assembly. Of the 65 lawmakers present in the assembly, 33 backed the vote of no confidence against CM Kamal.

Dissident leaders present arguments against CM Jam Kamal

Addressing the session, Khetran demanded the release of the five missing lawmakers with immediate effect and said that the assembly has lost its confidence in Kamal.

"We demand Jam Kamal immediately step down from the post of the chief minister," Khetran said. "Due to his poor governance, the province had to witness hopelessness, disrepute, and unemployment, while the performance of different departments was also adversely affected."

Khetran further said that CM Kamal, assuming that he is the wisest of all, had been taking all decisions related to the province on his own.

"Running important matters without consultation has caused irreparable damage to the province," Khetaran maintained, adding that owing to that, assembly members demand Jam Kamal step down from his post.

Leader of the Opposition in Balochistan Assembly Malik Sikandar Advocate, while expressing his views, said that the post of the chief executive is very important as it requires the incumbent to work tirelessly for the welfare of the people.

"The chief executive is also required to solve the problems of the masses while being on the frontline," Sikandar said, adding that the incumbent is also expected to protect the national exchequer. 

"The incumbent must also be able to utilise the national exchequer for the welfare of the masses as per a sound strategy. The responsibility of protecting the constitutional and legal rights of the people is also included in the duties of the chief executive," Sikandar said. 

The leader of the opposition in the provincial assembly went on to say that the situation related to Sui gas in the province is suspicious because gas supply to the colder regions of the province is deliberately cut off.

"When the chief executive does not pay attention to such important issues, how will people trust him?" Sikandar questioned. 

The law and order situation in the province is such that no one's life, property, or honour is safe, Sikandar said, adding people end up displaying the dead bodies of their loved ones outside the house of the chief executive to compel him to take action.

"There is no justice in the province and the use of resources is not carried out in a responsible manner. Therefore, Jam Kamal has no right to continue as the chief minister of the province," Sikandar concluded his speech by saying. 

Following Sikandar, Balochistan National Party (BNP) leader, Sanaullah Baloch expressed his views on the no-confidence motion and said that under the rule of CM Jam Kamal, "major corruption has taken place in Quetta Development Package as well as the fisheries sector."

"Insurgency was supposed to be reduced in Balochistan but the opposite happened and it saw a surge," Baloch said, adding that the charge sheet against CM Jam Kamal is "very long."

"Water, roads, and education projects in the province have been dedicated to Kamal's favourite people," Baloch said. "In my constituency, for instance, not a single project related to education was initiated."

"You have brought Balochistan on the verge of destruction but while you were in power, you did not employ efforts to make a place in the hearts of the people," Baloch said.

"A person who does not reconcile with his own party members, how can we expect him to reconcile with disgruntled ones?" he said. "It is not the mistrust of the Opposition against Jam Kamal, but it is the mistrust of the people towards him."

"As a brother, I am advising you to resign from your post," Baloch said. 

Akhtar Hussain Langove, member of the Balochistan Assembly and leader of the Balochistan National Party (Mengal) also criticised CM Jam Kamal and said: "Had there been any humanity left in Jam Kamal, he wouldn't have left the dead bodies of children in Quetta to go and attend a jeep rally there. 

"The dead bodies of kids were lying in Quetta for several days but Jam Kamal was not moved," Langove said.

He added that unfortunately, women members of the parliament were not allowed to enter the assembly's session today. 

"We had been together until 1pm today but since then, they are nowhere to be seen," Langove said. 

Speaking about the no-confidence motion against Kamal, Langove said that 34 members of the assembly are backing the move. 

"Jam Kamal should ensure the return of the people that he has abducted," Langove alleged. 

Upon hearing the remarks, Speaker Balochistan Assembly Abdul Quddus Bizenjo said: "I don't think anyone has been abducted."

'Words like missing, abducted violate sanctity of assembly': Shahwani

Reacting to the comments of the disgruntled assembly members, Balochistan Government Spokesperson, Liaquat Shahwani, said that terming members of the assembly as "missing or abducted" is tantamount to insulting the Parliament and democracy. 

"Nobody can forcefully stop members from appearing before the assembly. Likewise, members cannot be forcefully brought to the assembly either," Shahwani said. 

He said that it is unfortunate that members of the House of Representatives have "violated the sanctity of the assembly" by using non-parliamentary words.

'Confident on the outcome of the no-trust motion': Jam Kamal

Prior to the assembly session, CM Jam Kamal spoke to the media and said that he is confident of the outcome of the no-trust motion, adding that the Opposition wants to create discord among government members.

Praising his rule as the chief minister of the province, Jam Kamal said that he has "worked hard to establish peace and harmony in the province," therefore, he would not let the Opposition spoil the accomplishment. 

He said that the disgruntled members will present their arguments against me today, while the speaker of the assembly will decide a date for the actual voting to take place. 

"We are confident that the reality will be revealed on the polling day," CM Balochistan said. 

Expressing his surprise and disappointment, CM Kamal said: "How is it possible for government members to join hands with the Opposition? The opposition party is creating discord among government members."

"The voting could take place three to seven days from now on, but during this time, we will not let anyone disturb the peace of the province," Kamal said.

Prior to the session, Jan Muhammad Jamali, the head of the dissident group within the BAP, had said that he had advised the chief minister to resign one week earlier. 

Reacting to Jamali’s statement, the Balochistan chief minister said these people have been playing games in the province for a long time.

In his tweet, the chief minister said, “Balochistan must be a game for Jan Jamali but not for Jam Kamal.”

“We have come here to serve and shall till the last day. Kindly carry on your games,” he added.

The splinter group in BAP claimed to have secured the support of 40 MPAs in the provincial assembly. On the other hand, CM Jam Kamal Khan, apparently, had the support of 26 lawmakers.

Balochistan government spokesperson Liaquat Shahwani, however, Wednesday claimed to have the majority in the House and reiterated that the CM will not resign from his post.

He maintained that they will prove their majority on the assembly floor during the voting process.

Minister resigns

After the assembly session, Noor Muhammad Dummar announced he had resigned as the provincial minister for public health engineering, saying the chief minister already has a lot of portfolios, and that he could assume his responsibilities as well.

"I did not partake in the no-confidence motion as I wanted to give Jam Kamal some time [...] but despite a month's time, Jam Kamal's attitude did not change," he said while speaking to reporters.

Jam Kamal refuses to step down 

Earlier on October 14, Jam Kamal had refused to step down as the chief minister of Balochistan after he held a meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan amid the deepening political crisis in Balochistan.

The chief minister, speaking to the media after he met the premier, had said a session of the Balochistan Assembly would be summoned within a day or two for a vote of no-confidence against him.

The disgruntled Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) lawmakers had told Minister for Defence Pervez Khattak that they would accept no option other than "minus Jam Kamal" after he asked them to resolve matters amicably.

He had added that BAP General-Secretary Manzoor Kakar's letter to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for appointing Buledi as the party's acting president holds "no legal value", as he rejected the move.

Provincial minister Buledi was appointed as the acting president of BAP on October 11, but CM Kamal took back his decision to step down from the office a day after.