Balochistan Provincial Assembly session ends abruptly after Malik’s no show
By: Saleem Shahid
QUETTA: A special session of the Balochistan Assembly convened for an in-camera briefing by the interior minister on serious law and order situation in the province ended after just two minutes as Rehman Malik did not turn up.
The special session was convened by the provincial governor on the advice of the chief minister for a briefing in camera to lawmakers by the interior minister on the law and order situation in the province.
Mr Malik, who was specially invited for the purpose, cancelled his visit at the eleventh hour without giving any explanation for the move.
The assembly session was presided over by Deputy Speaker Syed Matiullah Agha after Speaker Aslam Bhootani refused to do so, pleading that in view of the Oct 12 interim order of the Supreme Court, the assembly session could not be convened on the advice of the chief minister until his constitutional position was clear.
When the session began, the deputy speaker asked a provincial minister, Ali Madad Jattak, to move a resolution for relaxing rules of the assembly to allow Mr Malik to brief lawmakers on the law and order situation.
Mr Jattak took the floor and informed the house that Mr Malik had not come to Quetta and, therefore, he was not going to move the resolution. “Rehman Malik has not come to Quetta and has not informed the reason for the move,” Mr Jattak told the house.
The deputy speaker, after the statement of Mr Jattak, adjourned the session till Tuesday afternoon. Though there was no formal announcement by the interior minister for cancellation of his visit, Chief Minister Aslam Raisani deplored the “non-serious and undemocratic attitude” of the interior minister.
Mr Raisani claimed that Mr Malik had expressed his desire to brief members of the Balochistan assembly on the law and order situation in an in-camera session and requested the provincial government to formally invite him for the purpose.
He said that on the desire of the interior minister, the Balochistan government had invited him and convened the assembly session, but Mr Malik cancelled his visit at the eleventh hour without giving any reason.
“This non-serious attitude of the interior minister has breached the privilege of the Balochistan Assembly members,” the chief minister told reporters after the assembly session, adding that members of the assembly would strongly protest over it.
He said such a “non-serious” attitude did not befit a minister who held an important portfolio.
“If such a situation continued how affairs between Islamabad and Quetta will progress,” he questioned.
However, some sources said that officials concerned had advised the interior minister not to visit Quetta as his participation in the assembly session would fuel the confrontation between the federal government and the Supreme Court.