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Alliances brew in Balochistan as polls near

Alliances brew in Balochistan as polls near
Alliances brew in Balochistan as polls near

QUETTA: Different political parties in Balochistan, including both nationalist and religious parties, have spearheaded negotiations to forge alliances and achieve seat-to-seat adjustments in the province ahead of the upcoming general elections.

The president of the Balochistan National Party-Mengal (BNP-M), Sardar Akhtar Jan Mengal, invited the province’s political forces and parties on Saturday to unite and make collective efforts.

The National Party’s (NP) leadership is also interested in getting the nationalist parties united on a single platform or at least forming an election alliance to participate in the upcoming elections jointly.

The party took the lead and its president, Abdul Malik Baloch, and other key leaders started meeting with different political parties.

A delegation of NP had a meeting with PML-N’s Chief Organiser Maryam Nawaz Sharif in Lahore to discuss alliances in Balochistan. The NP was also in contact with the leadership of the Pakistan Peoples Party. Besides, their meetings with JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman and other leaders were also reported in the media.

Parties discussing joint electoral strategy, exploring seat adjustments

Because of their desire to make an election alliance or at least seat-to-seat adjustment, a party delegation met with JUI-F provincial emir Maulana Abdul Wasey and other party leaders two days ago, which was confirmed by National Party’s Secretary General Jan Buledi. The NP also desires to establish contact with Mr Mengal’s BNP-M.

As a first step, the National Party formed a negotiation committee under the leadership of former senator and party’s central vice president, Kabir Ahmed Muhammad Shahi, which held negotiations with the BNP-M leadership on Sunday.

The committee members, including Mr Buledi, provincial president Rehmat Saleh Baloch and Vice President Dr Ishaq Baloch, met the BNP-M’s leadership at Mr Shahi’s residence.

In the first meeting, the two sides discussed seat-to-seat adjustment in different constituencies where both parties have their vote back and influence, party sources said.

In the meeting, the BNP-M was represented by Central Secretary General Jahanzeb Baloch, Deputy Secretary General Malik Naseer Shahwani, and Finance Secretary Akhtar Hussain Langove.

Leaders from both sides presented preliminary proposals on behalf of their parties and discussed issues related to constituencies and a joint electoral strategy.

They agreed on the need for electoral adjustments under the present circumstances and emphasised the importance of continuing the process.

Both parties’ committees will reach a conclusion after consulting their respective parties’ leadership regarding the proposals presented during the meeting. It was decided that more sessions of negotiations would be held to reach a final decision on the election strategy.

The meeting also rejected the results of the latest census, which they said reduced the population of Balochistan by seven million, terming it an injustice to the people of Balochistan.

They viewed this process as a continuation of Islamabad’s anti-Balochistan mindset.

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