QUETTA, March 21: Chief Minister Nawab Aslam Raisani and Leader of Opposition in the now dissolved Balochistan Assembly Tariq Magsi nominated on Thursday Nawab Ghous Bakhsh Barozai as the caretaker chief minister of the province.

A government team and representatives of the opposition parties reached unanimity on the name of Nawab Barozai after two hours of discussion on six names earlier proposed by them.

The nomination was announced at a joint press conference by Chief Minister Raisani and Mr Magsi. Provincial PML-N chief Sardar Sanaullah Zehri, JUI-F leader Maulana Abdul Wasey, Syed Ehsan Shah and Asad Baloch of the BNP-Awami were present.

They termed it a victory of democracy that all parties had agreed on a name for the caretaker chief minister. They expressed the hope that the interim government would ensure free, fair and transparent elections.

Mr Magsi said he had submitted the name of Nawab Barozai and the chief minister had endorsed it.

“We have dispelled a perception that we could not choose a consensus caretaker chief minister,” he said, adding that the democratic and constitutional process had been completed by consultations among all ruling and opposition parties on the nomination of Mr Barozai.

Mr Magsi said that next phase of selecting ministers would also be completed soon.

Chief Minister Raisani said the opposition and government had evolved a formula for the purpose.

Talking to reporters, Nawab Barozai said he would prefer a small cabinet, adding that he would try to induct honest people into it.

“The priority of my government will be to ensure free, fair and transparent election in Balochistan on May 11,” he said.

Replying to a question, he said that unfortunately the Baloch and Pakhtun nationalists had boycotted the last general election but he would try to bring them back into the mainstream politics.

He said people of the Hazara community had suffered atrocities and his government would promote harmony among all communities and nationalities in Balochistan.

“I will work to put the province on the track of development, progress and prosperity in the administrative, social and political spheres.”

GWADAR: Nawab Raisani said the control of Gwadar port had been given to China during his “two-month exile”.

He said he had asked the federal government to give the ministry of ports and shipping to Punjab, instead of Sindh or Balochistan, so that the minister could play an impartial role.

He said he could not allow anyone to plunder natural resources of Balochistan.

Mr Raisani demanded that royalty of the Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline passing through Balochistan should be paid to the province.


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