Bizenjo’s uphill task

Opposition’s internal divide stemmed them from posing a formidable challenge to the ruling dispensation


November 01, 2021

Balochistan’s political crossroads finally got a berth as Abdul Qudoos Bizenjo was elected unopposed as the new chief minister. This will be his second stint as provincial chief executive, and he had also reigned as Speaker. With his impeccable credentials, one hopes political leg-pulling and dissent will come to an end, and the backward province will leap forward on the path of stability and prosperity. The forced exit of Jam Kamal Alyani has divided the house on a serious partisan basis. The ruling Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) revolt against Alyani was reportedly in denial of discretionary developmental funds to MPs. If so is the case, then the new incumbent will also be under pressure from day one, and this petty polarisation will continue to linger on. Moreover, such scheming against the leader of the house is a bad omen for democracy, and hints at the indispensability of funds and favours in politics.

The elevation of Bizenjo, who grabbed 39 votes in a house of 65, was supported by PTI’s Parliamentary Leader Sardar Yar Mohammad Rind, who himself had filed papers for the top slot. Likewise, one daring member from the opposition benches also came forward to vote for Bizenjo. Interestingly, the JUI-Fazl, BNP-Mengal, PkMAP and independently-elected Nawab Aslam Raisani did not participate in the election, and their staying away made it a one-sided affair. There are sceptics to this account too, as many believe the opposition’s internal divide stemmed them from posing a formidable challenge to the ruling dispensation. But the solace is that Balochistan MPs brought an end to the crisis by opting for an in-house change, and did not make it messier by leading to its dissolution.

With the political turmoil now coming to an end, CM Bizenjo has a new challenge to face. His political wisdom will be up for test as he takes members from both the flanks along in ushering development and serenity. Sending a government packing half way, and that too from the same party (BAP), will cast its ugly shadows for months to come. While the province is theatre to CPEC-related mega projects, Bizenjo will have to lead from the front in making the difference felt.

 

Published in The Express Tribune, November 1st, 2021.

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