Balochistan Assembly: Speaker Bhootani sent home packing

No-confidence motion receives majority vote; Bhootani decides to move the court against ‘illegal procedure’.


Muhammad Zafar December 26, 2012
Bhootani says he will move the court against what he calls an “illegal procedure” adopted during Wednesday’s voting in the provincial assembly. PHOTO: FILE

QUETTA:


The political brawl in Balochistan claimed its first casualty on Wednesday. The provincial assembly approved a no-confidence motion against Speaker Mir Aslam Bhootani with a thumping majority. Only one vote was cast in Bhootani’s favour against 47 votes for his ouster.


The no-confidence motion was tabled by Minister for Industries Syed Ehsan Shah in a session presided over by Deputy Speaker Matiullah Agha.

The motion was supported by a majority of the members.

Eleven lawmakers abstained from voting while three members – Leader of the House Mir Tariq Magsi, Sadiq Umrani and Jan Ali Changhezi – boycotted the session when they were not allowed to speak on a point of order.

The deputy speaker, in his ruling, cancelled the orders passed by Bhootani earlier this month. “Aslam Bhootani is no more speaker of the assembly,” he added. “The orders issued by him on December 19 have been cancelled.”

Glorifying provincial govt

Ehsan Shah claimed that the Balochistan government’s performance was “far better”  than that of other provincial governments.

47

He said the law and order situation in Balochistan was “better” than that of Sindh and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P), adding that 21 people were gunned down in a single day in Karachi and a senior minister, Bashir Bilour, was assassinated in a suicide attack in K-P.

“No such incident” has been reported in Balochistan, even though a tribal insurgency is ongoing in the province, he added. The provincial government has completed “record” development projects in its tenure.

Charges against Bhootani

Ehsan Shah said the speaker, Aslam Bhootani, did not allow for holding of a session of the provincial assembly while exercising powers as acting governor, in the absence of Governor Nawab Zulfiqar Ali Magsi.

Thus, he was involved in sabotaging the democratic process and obstructing a session of the assembly, Shah alleged. The ousted speaker was also accused of cancelling the session of the assembly convened in a “lawful manner”, he added.

Others who spoke on the motion included Senior Minister Maulana Abdul Wasey, Engineer Zammruk Khan, Ghazla Gola, Mir Abdul Rehman Jamali and Ali Madad Jattak. They criticised Bhootani’s role in “subverting the Constitution.”

Later, the session was adjourned sine die.

Raisani welcomes no-trust motion

Chief Minister Nawab Aslam Raisani welcomed the no-confidence motion against Bhootani. “Most lawmakers in the Balochistan Assembly are in favour of the motion – if this is not enough, then more votes will be brought in from Kandahar (Afghanistan),” a visibly happy chief minister told journalists.

He claimed that the no-trust motion was moved “unanimously”, dispelling the impression that there was any rift in the coalition government. He said the assembly would convene soon to elect a new speaker.

Senior Minister Maulana Abdul Wasey, who belongs to the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (Fazlur Rehman group), said that input would be sought from all coalition partners before finalising the name of new speaker. He added that the new speaker could be a female lawmaker.

Bhootani hits back

Unnerved by the no-trust motion, the beleaguered speaker said he would move the court against what he called an “illegal procedure” adopted during Wednesday’s voting in the provincial assembly.

Speaking at a news conference, Bhootani said Deputy Speaker Agha put aside the assembly’s secretary and rules of procedure by initiating proceedings through an additional secretary.

“I came to know through the media that I got only one vote [during the voting on no-confidence motion]. It seems the government wanted to show to the entire assembly that I got only one vote,” he said.

Bhootani went on to add that some legislators, including Sadiq Umrani, Tariq Magsi and Jan Ali Changezi, also protested against the “illegal proceedings”.

“I’ve decided to move the court to establish the truth,” Bhootani said, adding that according to the rules of procedure the speaker is given a chance to defend himself.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 27th, 2012.

COMMENTS (1)

Murad | 9 years ago | Reply

The public representatives are the relection of the area to which they belong or get elected. The Baluchistan assembly wherein every one is a minister or minister of state and willingly accepting the leadership of Raisani as CM, then it is not one to be blamed. People are themselves to be blamed. Things do not seem to improve under this mafia and self interest thinking. Sad and shame to see that only one person favored the outgoing speaker.

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