Disregard of collective responsibility principle in Balochistan politics

Disregard of collective responsibility principle in Balochistan politics

Khaleeq Nazar Kiani
The beauty of the parliamentary form of Government is the openness where the Chief Executive takes the decisions after consultation and mutual consent of the Cabinet. Generally, the opinion of the Chief executive prevails but every Cabinet member enjoys the liberty to express its disagreement or difference of opinion on any issue. Once the decision is taken by the majority, everyone in the Government is duty-bound to accept it and defend it in the Assembly as well as in the public or to quit the ministership.
The successes and failures of the Government are credited to the Cabinet under the doctrine of ‘Collective Responsibility’ envisaged in the constitution of Pakistan. Perhaps Balochistan is the only province where its ministers do not believe in the principle of collective responsibility. They may have not gone through the Constitution of Pakistan but otherwise there are some moral values and traditions which have to be followed being part of the dignified and illustrious office. Unfortunately, it is the second successive Balochistan Government that has been toppled by its own Cabinet members in disregard of the principle of collective responsibility.
Why Jam was replaced?
Initially, the in-house change was not on the cards of the powerful establishment. The purpose was to realize the Jam about his limit who is taking some liberty and doing the independent decisions. But when Jam decided to face the no-confidence motion then the decision was taken to replace him with an old tested protégé. The opposition parties in Balochistan wanted to join the next Government so they supported the no-confidence motion but their inclusion was not in the written script. They were used as a catalyst in this entire episode.
Jam budged to the invisible pressure and resigned. Apparently, majority of its so-called angry Cabinet ministers revolted and tabled the no-confidence motion in the Assembly on make-believe grounds. Majority of whom did not bother to resign from the office as per the democratic norms. It is very easy to charge sheet the Chief Minister of the province where unemployment is very high, poverty is at an alarming level and all development parameters are on a declining trend but perhaps not for those who were part of the Government as cabinet members more than three years and never objected or showed disagreement on the Cabinet decisions. They passed the three annual budgets unanimously to run the Government and no disagreement from any Cabinet member is on record. Usually, the assembly members show their resentment on the occasion of budget preparation and allocation of funds to their constituencies. This financial year opposition strongly protested on the budget day and tried to stop the entry of the treasury benches in the Assembly premises but all the Cabinet members/ruling side showed solidarity with Jam and passed the budget. Just after three months, the whole situation reversed to 180 degrees.
Options for the Jam
The general perception about the personality of Jam is that he is a clean man having no corruption stigma. He should have faced the no-confidence motion till the last moment and in case of a stalemate, the constitution provides the solution of dissolution of the assembly. As the opposition was short of strength to form the Government and his majority ministers are not adhering to the principle of collective responsibility then morally and constitutionally it was required to go for an early poll. But this all happened in an open and democratic society, not in a close society.
One has to believe that no party can rule Balochistan without the support of the establishment. To run the province independently will be a dream for any party in the near future.

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