Constitutional crisis brewing in Balochistan
QUETTA: A serious constitutional crisis is in the making in Balochistan with the speaker summoning a session of the provincial assembly on a requisition signed by 19 legislators.
Speaker Syed Matiullah Agha summoned the session on Monday evening, disregarding the fact that the province is under governor’s rule.
Some constitutional and legal experts said they were not sure if the assembly wanted to play the role of a parallel government against the one headed by Governor Nawab Zulfiqar Magsi who was now chief executive.
Former speaker Aslam Bhootani and the experts are of the view that when the president imposes governor’s rule under Article 234 any required legislation may be done by parliament.
“The provincial legislature cannot function during governor’s rule and that is why its powers are transferred to Majlis-i-Shura (parliament) and the assembly is presumed to be suspended.”
A former chief of the Baloch Bar Association, Baz Mohammad Kakar, said that requisitioning the session under the current circumstances was unlawful. He wondered who would respond during the session to questions on behalf of the government that did not exist after its dismissal under a presidential promulgation.
Mr Bhootani said the assembly had remained suspended after the dismissal of the NAP government led by Sardar Ataullah Mengal and the Jam Ghulam Qadir government.
According to the experts, if the governor’s rule is lifted the assembly will be restored but not the government headed by Nawab Aslam Raisani. When the rule was lifted in 1973, the assembly elected Ghulam Qadir as the new chief minister. In 1975, Mr Qadir was not reinstalled and Mohammad Khan Barozai was elected as the new leader of the house.
Similarly, when Zafarullah Jamali dissolved the assembly in 1988 and the Balochistan High Court restored it Mr Jamali was not restored as the chief minister and the house elected Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti as its leader.