Monday Oct 25 2021

Behind the scenes: Why did CM Jam Kamal Khan resign?

Former chief minister of Balochistan, Jam Kamal Khan Aylani. — Twitter
Former chief minister of Balochistan, Jam Kamal Khan Aylani. — Twitter

The six-week-long political crisis in Balochistan came to a logical end on Sunday night when Jam Kamal Khan tendered his resignation from the office of the chief minister, after more than 12 MPAs from his own party withdrew their support to him.

A day later, on Monday, Mir Abdul Qadoos Bizenjo, the speaker of the Balochistan Assembly, also resigned from his office.

Bizenjo is considered a potential candidate for the top slot of the chief minister. Other than him, Sardar Saleh Bhootani, who also belongs to the Balochistan Awami Party, is in the running.

But let’s go back to Jam Kamal Khan for a bit.

Troubles began for him when 24 opposition MPAs belonging to the JUI-F and Balochistan National Party (BNP-Mengal) filed a vote of no trust against him on September 14.

Later, within a week, the chief minister lost further ground when 12 members of his own party, BAP, demanded his resignation.

Meanwhile, three ministers — two from his own party and nine advisors and parliamentary secretaries — handed over their resignations to Governor Syed Zahoor Agha on October 7 due to emerging differences within the party fold.

The then chief minister, along with his coalition partners ANP and HDP, made hectic efforts to convince the disgruntled officer holders but failed.

Khan even criticised his party MPAs in a tweet posted on Sunday.

But there was no turning back now.

All political parties in the province, including the PPP, JUI-F, BNP-Mengal and even BAP’s majority members demanded Khan’s resignation.

The PPP’s lone MPA in the provincial assembly, Nawab Sanaullah Zehri, while speaking to media at the Bizenjo house on Saturday had said: “Our party’s high command decided to support the opposition instead of Jam Kamal Khan and our leader Asif Ali Zardari directed us to support the opposition.”

However, those privy to the developments say that one major reason behind the resignation of the chief minister was that dissident MPAs, and some founding members of BAP, complained that Jam Kamal had been disregarding the elected members in allocating developmental funds and interfering in their constituencies with regard to transfer and postings of government officials.

They also accused Khan of miserably failing to maintain law and order in the province.

It is pertinent to mention here that BAP emerged as the single largest party in the province winning 24 provincial assembly seats in the house of 65, and five national assembly seats in the general elections of 2018.

But that is all history now.

The stage is set for the birth of a new government, comprising of BAP, BNP-Awami and some opposition parties, while negotiations are still underway with another possible partner in the coalition.