BAP throws cold water on Bizenjo’s request for electoral alliance

  • NP’s Buledi says no discussion held over forming alliance with ‘unregistered’ BAP
  • Top NP leadership criticises Bizenjo for supporting a ‘corrupt Punjabi politician’ 

ISLAMABAD: In a major blow to Minister for Maritime Affairs Hasil Khan Bizenjo-led National Party (NP), the ruling Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) has refused to form an alliance with the party for the upcoming general elections.

Sources privy to the development told Pakistan Today that BAP had declined a request for the alliance as both the parties’ stronghold lies in the Baloch-dominated areas of the province.

Following BAP’s refusal, Bizenjo came under harsh criticism by the party’s top leadership at a recent meeting, sources further said.

A source in the NP central committee told Pakistan Today that “the party leaders had also questioned Bizenjo about the ‘objectionable’ speech wherein he had badmouthed Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani from Balochistan and had praised a ‘corrupt’ prime minister from Punjab. They were of the view that this has badly hurt the nationalistic politics of National Party and also the Baloch nationalism cause,” the source said.

The source said that the participants were “angry with Bizenjo for siding with a Punjabi politician and condemning his fellow Baloch brother”.

The critics also opposed the unnecessary targeting of the military establishment by Bizenjo, saying that this has nullified all the prospects of NP to achieve success in the upcoming elections.

However, the source said that Hasil Khan Bizenjo silenced the critics by saying that they could not understand the complexities involved in the national politics and the environment of Islamabad.

Bizenjo also said that “the party would stand by its allies and rather than forging an alliance with the BAP, it would seek election alliances with other political parties, including the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI), BNP-Mengal and BNP-Awami and others”.

According to the source, former Balochistan chief minister Dr Malik Baloch also came under fire for not mobilising the party in Makran and Kech divisions. Dr Malik, however, responded that the party workers had become “greedy”.

“During the meeting, Dr Malik raised the issue of the party’s ineffective social media handling, accusing party’s Secretary Information Mir Jan Buledi of complacency which was costing the party heavily,” the source said.

The source added that due to a weak defence of the party’s policies in the social media, the propaganda of BNP-Mengal and BNP-Awami was getting popular.

The party leader also said that only one party leader, Haleem Baloch, was active on the social media while 90 per cent members did not even have email addresses. It was hence decided that all party workers would contribute to projecting the party’s cause on the social media. It was also resolved that the social media campaign would be intensified against BNP-M chief Akhtar Mengal and BNP-Awami leader Syed Ihsan Shah.

During the meeting, it was also decided that a committee would be formed to reach out to the dissident party members and bring them back to the party’s folds.

When contacted, Mir Jan Buledi said that the party’s central committee has taken key decisions, besides passing several resolutions. Asked to comment on the social media failure, Buledi said there was a discussion regarding the social media and it was agreed that collective effort is needed to project the party’s narrative.

Buledi further said that the meeting also formed a parliamentary board while a committee has been formed for seeking alliances with mainstream political parties for the upcoming elections. Moreover, he added, the party leaders have been asked to seek seat adjustments and alliances at regional level too.

Asked about efforts to forge an alliance with BAP, Buledi denied that the leadership had discussed forming an electoral alliance with BAP.

“BAP is not even a registered political party,” he said. “However, we are looking at an alliance with BNP-Mengal, BNP-Awami, JUI-F, Pashtunkhwa Milli Awami Party and ANP,” he added.

Responding to a question pertaining to the ideological difference between JUI and NP, Buledi said that to reach a consensus on seat adjustment, ideology is not necessary.

Asked why the party leaders had criticised the speech delivered in the Senate by Hasil Khan Bizenjo, Mir Jan Buledi said that irrespective of some differences, majority party leaders had backed Bizenjo’s speech.

“I believe that the speech was largely hailed by the party leadership as they said that the party’s view was presented in best possible manner. There are always dissenting voices but collectively, the speech was welcomed,” he asserted.

Asked why some leaders of Baloch Students Organisation (BSO) were disallowed to speak, Buledi said that the BSO president and his secretary spoke as they normally do.

“Since it is a central committee, so the central leaders (of all branches) could speak their minds but the participants have to seek permission before speaking,” he concluded.