Baloch, Pashtun nationalists to resist inclusion of JUI-F, Q league in Balochistan govt


Baloch and Pashtun nationalist leaders have decided to jointly resist the efforts of inclusion of JUI-F and PML-Q lawmakers into Balochistan cabinet and Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) chief Mahmood Khan Achakzai has sought immediate intervention of the PM in this regard.
Perturbed over the delay in expansion of Balochistan Cabinet, Achakzai has conveyed his displeasure to Nawaz Sharif, asking him to stop the “blackmailing tactics” by PML-N’s Balochistan chief and senior minister Sanaullah Zehri who wanted to include PML-Q ministers in the cabinet. This move might sabotage reconciliation efforts launched by the Balochistan chief minister with Baloch militants.
The JUI-F and PML-Q have been jointly ruling since year 2002 and both parties remained coalition partners during the past 11 years.
A lawmaker told Pakistan Today that Achakzai on Thursday met Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and conveyed his anger over Zehri for conspiring against the Balochistan government.
“Achakzai also told Nisar that the delay in cabinet formation not only was a hurdle in effective performance of Balochistan government but also internal bickering was badly hurting performance of chief minister Dr Abdul Malik.” He also shared concerns about recent meeting of JUI-F chief Fazlur Rehman and Abdul Wasay with some federal ministers. He asked the prime minister to summon the leadership of Balochistan to Islamabad early next week and finalise the share of the coalition partners in the provincial cabinet. He also told Nisar that Zehri was playing a spoiler’s role and should be snubbed forthwith.
“Achakzai has decided that if these blackmailing tactics are not stopped, his party will leave Balochistan and federal governments and would sit on opposition benches,” the lawmaker added.
“Recent demand by Sanaullah Zehri has been to seek a share in Balochistan Cabinet for PML-Q lawmakers and he has asked the chief minister to appoint Asim Kurd Gelu as finance minister. Gelu was also finance minister in previous cabinet and has repute for corruption. His move is being strongly resisted by Baloch and Pashtoon nationalists who argue what would be justification if former ruling party, PML-Q and JUI-F, are included in the cabinet. This would not only erode the moral authority of Balochistan government but will also send very negative signals to reconciliation efforts launched by Dr Malik with Baloch militant groups,” the source added.
Explaining the background, the lawmaker said that after May 11 polls, the PkMAP had emerged as a majority party in the Balochistan Assembly.
“Zehri, the PML-N chief of Balochistan chapter, however, included independent candidates into the PML-N fold claiming to form the government in Balochistan. The PkMAP did not object to his moves as a goodwill gesture toward Baloch leadership. However, Nawaz Sharif returned the favour to Achakzai by asking PkMAP chief to form government in Balochistan. But Achakzai preferred to give a chance to Baloch nationalist, Dr Abdul Malik Baloch, the National Party leader to become chief minister to send a goodwill gesture to Baloch nationalists,” said the source.
The source added that Zehri, on the other hand, was lobbying to become the chief minister soon after polls but Achakzai’s move left Zehri high and dry.
“Since he could not become chief minister, now Zehri is playing as spoiler which is unacceptable for us and the PkMAP lawmakers would prefer to join opposition benches rather than on treasury benches if he did not behave,” the lawmaker concluded.