Jolts in Quetta

23

BALOCHISTAN capital Quetta was jolted twice on Tuesday, first by resignation by the beleaguered Chief Minister Sanaullah Zehri who faced the nightmare of a no-confidence motion in the provincial assembly, defeating which seemed to be a Herculean task for the ruling PML (N) and the second by a bomb explosion targeting police and resulting into casualties. The two incidents reflected that the country’s largest province, poised to become regional hub of economic activities and connectivity, is sinking into quagmire and all those who mattered have closed their eyes to what is happening there.
The fate of the Zehri government was sealed in the wake of virtual defections and stabbing in the back by coalition partners as well as half-hearted efforts made by PML (N) to save him. There are many explanations of what prompted the heterogeneous political species to join hands against a government few months ahead of the general election. The movers and backers of the no-trust motion are claiming that Sanaullah Zehri was unconcerned about their needs and that of their constituencies and ruled in a whimsical manner. The ruling party alleges it was part of political engineering and a beginning has been made from Balochistan and similar dramas might be enacted in other provinces to generate political chaos ahead of elections. The Party also believes an attempt is being made to block Senate elections, which are due in March 2018 and that were likely to give PML (N) much-desired majority in the upper house. In this connection, leaders of PML (N) also refer to the political cocktail brewing in Lahore aimed at destabilising Shehbaz Sharif government. Whether or not this is an attempt to block Senate elections yet we believe the fall of PML (N) government in Balochistan would effectively deprive the party of any majority in the Senate. Much depends on whether or not any political force would be able to gather enough support to get its candidate elected as Leader of the House in the Balochistan Assembly. PML (N) is unlikely to retain the leverage, in any scenario, to get most of the Senate seats from Balochistan or obtain set up of its liking for interim period before elections. However, there are also chances that the lust for power could push things to extreme ends where dissolution of the Balochistan Assembly and imposition of Governor’s rule becomes the only option. We wish sanity prevails and all stakeholders work for strengthening democracy and stabilising Balochistan as instability could provide ideal conditions to our enemy to exploit the situation to its advantage.

E