Kiyya Qadir Baloch
Islamabad — Having been completely victorious party in center, the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML N) has emerged as the majority party in the war torn province of Balochistan too where according to official results it had got 9 seats out of 51 whereas the party has ballooned to 15 MPAs after six independent members joined its rank.
Pukhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PMAP) that had won 10 is the second largest party of the province while National Party of Dr. Abdul Malik Baloch is the third largest party. Around 6 candidates of Jamiat Ulama-e-Islam (F) (JUI-F) have also made their ways to Balochistan Assembly; the majority of those would intend to join government benches.
Though formal contact has been made between PML N, NP and PMAP for forming government in the province, the internal sources in PML N from Balochistan chapter said the party is mulling over different options for choosing Chief Minister.
According to party insiders four strong candidates have been named for the position of chief minister, which includes Sardar Sana Ullah Zehri, a feudal lord, Nawabzada Changiz Marri, a tribal leader (Sardar) and the son of veteran nationalist leader Nawab Khair Bakhsh Marri, Jan Jamali and Dr. Abdul Malik Baloch, a soft spoken Baloch and the president of National Party (NP).
Among the four Sardar Sana Ullah remains to be more controversial who has feuds of blood running with half of Baloch tribe. He also developed differences with Baloch nationalists when he nominated two elderly Baloch leaders Nawab Khair Bakhsh Marri and Sardar Attaullah Mengal as well as their scions including Sardar Akhtar Mengal in the murder of his son, brother and nephew who were killed during an electoral campaign.
Political experts believe that by choosing Sardar Sanaullah Zehri as its nominee for Balochistan’s Chief Minister it could endanger PML N’s efforts for reconciliation with moderate Baloch leadership and insurgents.
Zehri is also accused by a Police DIG (and his own brother) for supporting arms gangs accused of kidnapping people for ransom. He was as much a symbol of mis-governance, corruption and lawlessness as were his worthy colleagues in the last government.
Whereas People consider Changiz Marri, more a tribal man than a politician. Political experts suggest that the controversial nomination of Changiz Marri if carried out, may dash any hopes for an improvement in the political climate of the province as he has very horrific relations with his brother Nawabzada Hyrbyar Marri, who is accused to be the operator of the Baloch insurgents in the warn torn province.
With former Chief Minister Jan Jamali, the chief of PML N Mian Nawaz Sharif has some personal problems.
Nawaz Sharif raises some unfairness concerns against him for some political misconduct that he might have committed some 15 years back but he is relatively clean and acceptable to most parties including PMAP sources told daily times.
Dr. Malik Baloch, president of the National Party is thought to be quite a suitable candidate for the position of chief minister of Balochistan. However, it remains a question mark whether Dr. Baloch would be capable of holding negotiations with Baloch insurgents or not who previously had attacked Dr. Malik Baloch for having ties with establishment.
The PML-N now finds itself caught between the devil and the deep sea in the troubled province after controversy erupted between Sana Ullah Zehri and Marri for the seat of CM.
Party Insiders have suggested to Nawaz in order to come out from this trouble he should drop both Marri and Zehri and extend parliamentary support to Balochistan nationalist Dr Abdul Malik Baloch a soft spoken belonging to the middle class, has the backing of Pashtun nationalist group, the Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party, which bagged 10 seats in the elections.
It is now up to the PML-N leader whether he wants his dream of a peaceful Balochistan to be appeared through a spotless and a stable ruling coalition or not.
Kiyya Qadir Baloch is a freelance journalist associated with Daily Times Lahore currently based in Islamabad. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org