Dr Malik looks to spoil PML-N’s Balochistan dream

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As the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) is busy contemplating its nominee for the chief minister’s office in Balochistan, National Party chief Dr Abdul Malik Baloch has offered the Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) leadership to form a joint government excluding the PML-N.

It is learnt that Malik is shuttling between Quetta and Islamabad lobbying for his nomination as the next provincial chief minister, and his efforts are being backed by the PkMAP.

On the other hand, the PML-N too is not ready to let the opportunity of forming a government in Balochistan slip out of its hands. However, intra-party fighting in the PML-N has spoiled its prospects besides increasing worries for the Sharifs.

At the moment, three candidates from the PML-N are vying for the office of chief minister. The latest addition after Sanaullah Zehri and Changez Marri is Aslam Bhootani, former speaker of the Balochistan Assembly. But none of them have the right backing from the elected members of Balochistan.

“Each of them has the support of three to four members. Zehri is including in his strength the members of the PML-Q,” an insider disclosed.

Amid the growing political crisis, the caretaker chief minister of Balochistan met Nawaz Sharif at Raiwind the other day to see when the Sharifs wanted the session of assembly to be convened.

According to the constitutional provision, session needs to be called not later than 21 days after the election.

But due to the political crisis, the PML-N and other parties are not in a position to prove their majority, hence, the difficulty in deciding when to call the session.

And as the leadership in Balochistan is not sure about who will be the leader of the House, it is all the more difficult to evolve consensus for the office of speaker and deputy speaker.

Sources said that Nawaz Sharif spent a busy day at Raiwind discussing the political situation in Balochistan with his aides.

Assembly session

Balochistan Governor Nawab Zulfiqar Ali Magsi has summoned the maiden session of the provincial assembly for June 1 (Saturday) in which the newly-elected legislators would take oath of their offices.

Some 49 members will take oath as members of the assembly while by-elections will be held in two constituencies – PB-29 Nasirabad-II and PB-32 Kachhi-III.