PML-N’s indecisiveness delaying Balochistan cabinet formation

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The failure of the PML-N leadership from Balochistan to finalise the list for the cabinet slots, when its partners are fully ready and waiting in the wings, is delaying the formation of cabinet in the troubled province.

Sources in the PML-N revealed that all major stakeholders in Balochistan had agreed to a formula of 6-4-4. According to this agreement, the PML-N will have six ministers, while Balochistan National Party, the ruling party, and Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party will get four ministers each.

It is learnt that acting on the formula, both regional parties have finalised the list of its members to become ministers, waiting for the PML-N to follow suit.

But it has turned out to be a long wait as the PML-N leadership has not yet finalised its list. The sources confided that one difficulty in putting together a list for the cabinet slot was the desire of every PML-N MPA to become a minister.

To appease and convince these members, the PML-N leadership has offered members left out in the cabinet selection the chairmanship of standing committees with status of minister. But no member is ready to take the bait.

“Every member wants to become minister and nothing less,” one senior PML-N leader said.

It appears the PML-N chief in Balochistan, Sanaullah Zehri, is helpless in the face of the unfolding situation with most members not ready to listen to him.

There is a grouping also within the party, with Chengez Marri wanting his say in the formation of cabinet. Marri is not ready even to accept the leadership of Zehri.

Sources in the party believe that ultimately, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif would have to intervene to find a solution following failure of local leadership to break the deadlock.

Already, the cabinet formation has been delayed inordinately, hampering progress on issues confronting the provincial government.

The government in Balochistan was formed in June and yet it is finding the formation of cabinet an uphill task despite the lapse of over two months.

A political analyst commenting on the cabinet formation delay said if the chief minister and others could not complete cabinet, there was little one could expect from them when it came to solution of other problems of the province.

Interestingly, JUI-F, which has joined hands with the federal government in the centre, is also vying for cabinet slots in Balochistan.