• Sunday 29th March 2020

Balochistan Continues To Be A Thorny Issue By Farhan Bokhari, Special To Gulf News

It is difficult to exactly predict either Raisani’s own fate or the likely character of a future post-Raisani regime

Pakistan’s south-western Balochistan province was yet again surrounded by mounting political turmoil in the past week in a hardly surprising development. The latest turn of events comes from Nawab Aslam Raisani, the Chief Minister, who is facing growing attacks from within his own Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), the elected legislature of the province and the Supreme Court.

In any other democracy, Raisani, who is armed with a reputation of spending more time outside the province than managing his native region’s complex affairs, may have felt compelled to step down. But then Pakistan is far from a perfect democracy, notwithstanding the frequent claims to fame from its elected leaders.

The latest twist to the crisis began when the provincial chapter of the PPP in Balochistan suspended Raisani’s membership of the party, following allegations of incompetence and corruption. The move followed a finding by Pakistan’s Supreme Court, which declared that the government had stopped functioning in Balochistan.

Raisani’s response is indeed to demand calling a session of the provincial legislature, allowing him an opportunity to prove his majority. It is a feeble move which not only bypasses the main issues confronting the chief minister, but also fails to tackle the depth of the crisis.

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Pakistanis who have travelled to Balochistan have found it way too backward even by comparison to the country’s unimpressive development standards. Anecdotal evidence spanning over years suggests that the province is surrounded by the poorest quality of governance seen anywhere across Pakistan, while corruption-tainted power corridors in the ruling structure are easily overwhelming.

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