The crisis in Balochistan’s ruling party, which has been brewing time-to-time but more intensely in the last three months, is likely to reach its climax within a day or two. Beleaguered Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan, who recently resigned as the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) head, was given a 24-hour deadline to leave the office of the chief minister or face the possible no-confidence motion. The movers of the ultimatum – cabinet members and BAP office-bearers – has a long chargesheet against Mr Jam Kamal, such as running the government in an autocratic way, a charge, vehemently denied by the chief minister. Since the crisis is all about the numbers, the majority of the dissenters within the BAP, who have also the backing of the opposition members, foretell that Mr Jam Kamal’s days are numbered. To avert the months-long crisis, he should have quit the office. As the last-ditch effort, Mr Jam Kamal has been visiting the members in the dissenting camp but failed to win them over. The lure of power does not wane. Power wrangling in Balochistan is neither new nor will go away, whether Mr Jam Kamal survives the day or not. The assembly composition does not allow any single leader to lead the government confidently and with ease.
The BAP, which is a conglomerate of several tribal leaders and electable personalities, put together under the party umbrella by the power-by, does not guarantee the continuity of a specific member as the chief executive of the province. The previous assembly also saw the change of faces when the then ruling party – Pakistan Muslim League-N – revolted against the chief minister, Sanaullah Zahari. Their predecessor, fickle Nawab Aslam Raeesani, was shown the door by the centre before he could complete his term in 2012. Mr Jam Kamal started his term back in 2018 confidently after managing to win the top slot through wheeling and dealings. After six months, cracks and news of difference of opinion, however, started emerging in BAP, which Mr Jam Kamal managed. This time, the crisis was so severe that the interference of the Senate chairman and several other emissaries fielded by the powerful circles in the centre has failed to bring the crisis to an amicable solution. The best way for the BAP members is to sit together and talk out the issues pricking the ruling party. If Jam Kamal has lost the confidence of the majority of the House members, he should go. His track record in the office is not exemplary. He treated the opposition rudely and got registered cases against the opposition lawmakers.