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QUETTA: The alliance of the National Party and Pakhtunkhawa Milli Awami Party clinched three seats each in the Senate elections held in the Balochistan Assembly hall on Thursday amid tight security.

Provincial Election Commissioner Syed Sultan Bayizeed was the presiding officer for the election. All 65 legislators cast their votes.

Hundreds of personnel of police, Anti-Terrorist Force, Frontier Corps and Balochistan Constabulary were deployed in and around the Balochistan Assembly premises and all entry passes were cancelled. Security guards of MPAs and ministers and journalists were not allowed to enter in the assembly premises.

NP President Mir Hasil Khan Bizenjo, Usman Kakar and Azam Khan Musakhel of the PkMAP were elected on general seats, while Malik Kabir Mohammad Shai of NP won a seat reserved for technocrats. The alliance also bagged one seat reserved for women and another for minorities.

The ruling PML-N won three seats, while the opposition JUI-F managed to get only one seat.

PML-N leader Yaqoob Khan Nasar, who is considered to be close to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, lost the election despite the fact that Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique had spent four days in Quetta recently to persuade other political parties to support his party’s candidates.

The PML-N also lost election for the minority seat to NP candidate Dr Ashok Kumar.

However, PML-N candidate Ms Kalsoom Perveen was elected on a seat reserved for women for the third time. The second seat reserved for women went to Gul Bushra Sherani of the PkMAP.

Agha Shahbaz Durrani of the PML-N, brother-in-law of Sanaullah Zehri, got elected on a seat reserved for technocrats/ulema, while Mir Niamatullah Zehri, brother of Sanaullah Zehri, was elected on a general seat.

The Balochistan National Party-Mengal, which has only two seats in the assembly, managed to get its Senior Vice President Dr Jahanzaib Jamaldani elected.

BNP-M President Akhtar Jan Mengal mustered support for Dr Jamaldani from opposition parties, including BNP-Awami and Awami National Party and PML-N leader and Speaker of the Balochistan Assembly Mir Jan Mohammad Khan Jamali.

The only independent member of the Balochistan Assembly, Tariq Hussain Magsi, supported the BNP-M candidate.

Ms Sana Jamali, daughter of Mr Jan Jamali who refused to withdraw her in favour of PML-N candidate Ms Kalsoom Perveen, lost election for a woman seat.

The JUI-F, which has seven members in the assembly, managed to get only one candidate elected – its Secretary General Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri. Its other candidates Malik Sikandar Khan and Himan Das failed to win seats reserved for technocrats and minorities, respectively.

“The success of Maulana Haideri was the result of Wednesday night deal with PML-N leader Saad Rafique,” sources told Dawn.

Independent candidate Mohammad Yousaf Badani was elected in the second count of voting, obtaining five votes in the first preference.

However, other independent candidates Ahmed Khan Mandokhel and Hussain Islam lost the election despite getting four and three votes, respectively, in the first preference.

Karachi tycoon Hussain Islam is a brother-in-law of Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Resources Jam Kamal.

Published in Dawn, March 6th, 2015

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