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QUETTA: Balochistan Chief Minister Mir Abdul Quddus Bizenjo will announce the launch of a new political party in Balochistan on Wednesday (today), according to sources.

They said the CM would make the announcement about the formation of the party with his cabinet members as well as the dissenting members of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).

The latter played a crucial role in forcing the chief minister appointed by the PML-N, Nawab Sanaullah Zehri, to resign from his post in January.

All required paperwork for the creation of the party has been completed after consulting constitutional and legal experts.

“We are ready to anno­unce the formation of a new political party in Balo­chistan,” a dissident leader of the PML-N told Dawn, adding that CM Bizenjo would only make a formal announcement.

Last Friday, the CM had confirmed in a press conference the rumours that had lately been doing the rounds that a new political was in the making. Mr Bizenjo had claimed that the new party would be called the National Democratic Alliance. However, sources close to Dawn said that Baloch politicians agreed on a different name for the party. A senior leader from the dissident PML-N group claimed that all legal formalities had been completed and that the party would be registered with the Election Commission of Pakistan.

According to sources, the leaders of the new party have not yet decided who the president is going to be, but names of former governor Nawab Zulfiqar Ali Magsi, ex-CM Jan Mohammad Khan Jamali among others have been tabled. The final decision on who the president is going to be will be made after further discussions within the party leadership.

“All dissident MPAs of the PML-N and independent senators who were elected in the recent Senate elections would be important members of the new party,” the sources said.

On Monday night, CM Bizenjo presided over a joint parliamentary parties meeting of the coalition government where detailed discussions were held over what name the new party would get as well as who was going to be appointed president.

“The leaders of all parliamentary parties have been taken into confidence about the formation of the party,” a senior leader who attended the meeting told Dawn. It was also decided that a Rabita (coordination) committee would be formed, which would include representatives from all coalition partners. Former Senator Saeed Ahmad Hashmi, who had been associated with the PML-N for most of his political career, had floated the idea of forming a new political party for the dissenting members of the PML-N in Balochistan. According to sources, Mr Hashmi was also pivotal in the appointment of Mr Bizenjo as CM.

Parliamentary leaders who attended the joint parliamentary meeting include state minister for petroleum and natural resources Jam Kamal Khan, Senator Anwar-ul-Haq Kakar, Sardar Mohammed Saleh Bhootani, Saeed Ahmed Hashmi, Tahir Mehmood, Jaffar Khan Mandokhel, Ayaz Mandokhel, Shoaib Nosherwani, Mohammed Khan Lehri, Mir Ghafoor Lehri, Mir Saleem Khosa, Mir Attaullah Buledi and Shahzad Saleh Bhootani.

Published in Dawn, March 28th, 2018