Balochistan issue: Raisani’s govt likely to return … for two days

Monday, March 11th, 2013 5:30:08 by


Exactly two months after being booted out, Nawab Aslam Raisani’s government is likely to return to Balochistan this week, The Express Tribune has learned.

According to officials in the Presidency, the restoration of Raisani’s government seems certain given that President Asif Ali Zardari’s proclamation of governor’s rule in the province is set to expire on March 14.

“Balochistan’s emergency will automatically come to an end when its legality will expire on March 14,” said a senior official. The decision not to put the matter before the joint sitting of the parliament was taken by the President himself, he added.

Zardari invoked Article 234 of the Constitution and imposed a state of emergency in Balochistan on January 14 in the aftermath of the deadly blast in Quetta’s Alamdar Road which targeted the city’s Hazara community. Under the law, the president was supposed to obtain Parliament’s endorsement for the state of emergency within a period of two months.

“If it is not endorsed by lawmakers in a joint sitting parliament before the two month period expires, the previous provincial cabinet will be restored automatically,” said constitutional expert Ali Zaffar.

Meanwhile, Raisani reached Islamabad on Saturday night to discuss issues related to the caretaker setup in Balochistan. He will meet the top leadership of the Pakistan Peoples Party today (Monday), according a senior bureaucrat.

“Raisani came here to take further instructions from the centre to run party affairs in the province,” he told The Express Tribune.

Despite a week-long effort by Law Minister Farooq H Naek, the government failed to address the persistent deadlock over the caretaker set-up in Balochistan, sources said.

They added the government even suggested replacing Governor Nawab Zulfiqar Magsi. The race for the governorship of Balochistan kicked off after the incumbent governor informed the president he had lost the ‘moral authority’ to continue in office.

It’s good enough that the provincial government will become functional after two months, remarked Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz MNA from Balochistan, Lt General (retd) Qadir Baloch.

“Restoring Raisani’s government will pave the way for the installation of an interim set-up in the province,” he said. He hoped that the elected government would propose names for the caretaker set-up in the province soon.

According to official sources, Raisani’s government will only rule for two days as the government plans to dissolve the National Assembly and all provincial assemblies on the same day — March 16.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 11th, 2013.

Quetta News Sources -2

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