ISLAMABAD/QUETTA, June 11: On the advice of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, President Asif Ali Zardari appointed on Tuesday Mohammad Khan Achakzai as governor of Balochistan, according to a notification issued by the Presidency.
Mohammad Achakzai is a nominee of Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP).He will be reaching Quetta from Islamabad on Wednesday and Balochistan High Court Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa would administer the oath of office to him on Thursday at a ceremony at the Governor’s House.
According to a power-sharing formula finalised by leaders of three largest parties in the Balochistan Assembly — the PML-N, PkMAP and the National Party (NP) — at a meeting in Murree last week, the post of governor would be given to the PkMAP.
Mohammad Achakzai is elder brother of PkMAP chairman Mehmood Khan Achakzai and the eldest son of Pashtun nationalist leader and freedom fighter Khan Abdul Samad Khan Achakzai.
He was born in Inayatullah Karez village of Gulistan tehsil in Qila Abdullah in the 1930s.
He obtained initial education in Gulistan and later studied at the Jamia Millia College, Delhi, when former Indian president Dr Zakir Hussain was its principal. He later joined the FC College, Lahore.
He did his masters in economics from Harvard University and also studied at the Glasgow University.
In 1960, Mohammad Achakzai joined the Government College, Quetta, as a lecturer and was later appointed assistant professor in the Balochistan University.
After a few years, he joined the Planning Commission from where he retired as chief economist.
Although born in a political family, Mohammad Achakzai never took part in politics and remained dedicated to his profession.
But, when his father was in jail he wrote letters and communicated with many political leaders, including Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, Mir Ghous Bakhsh Bizenjo and Mehmood Ali Kasuri.
Mohammad Achakzai will be the 22nd governor of Balochistan which attained the status of a province in 1970.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif directed Chief Minister Dr Abdul Malik Baloch to initiate a process of reconciliation with estranged Baloch nationalists.
He asked the chief minister to convey his desire for participation of nationalists in mainstream politics.
The prime minister was talking to the chief minister who had called on him at the Prime Minister’s Secretariat.
Mr Sharif expressed the resolve of his government to usher in a new era in Balochistan and work for ending the bitterness of the past.
According to a spokesman for the prime minister, he said: “We want to start a new page of everlasting love and affection in the province.”