National Party

Dr Abdul Malik Baloch. Photo: File Formed in: 2003 The party came into existence after the Balochistan...
Published July 17, 2018

Formed in: 2003

The party came into existence after the Balochistan National Party and the Balochistan National Democratic Party merged with the stated goal to 'safeguard the rights of the Baloch'.

Top leaders

  • Mir Hasil Khan Bizenjo
  • Dr Abdul Malik Baloch

Key concerns

  • Advocates social democracy and Baloch nationalism
  • Calls for maximum provincial autonomy
  • Calls to educate and mobilise the public to protect Balochistan's resources
  • Says people Gwadar should be the top beneficiaries of the activity at Gwadar Port as well as the China Pakistan Economic Corridor.

2018 elections

National Party has fielded candidates from 17 NA seats — out of these, 10 seats are from Balochistan, six from Punjab and one from Fata.

2013 elections

The party won one seat in NA and 11 seats in the Balochistan Assembly. Senior NP leader Abdul Malik Baloch was elected as the province's chief minister under a deal between Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz (PML-N) and the National Party. Malik remained chief minister till 2015 and then the position was taken over by PML-N's Sanaullah Zehri under the power sharing deal of 2013.

2008 elections

NP boycotted the 2008 general elections under now retired Gen Pervez Musharraf in protest against the 'military operation' in the province. However, one of its factions contested the provincial polls and the party ended up securing one seat in the Balochistan Assembly.

Major political plays

  • Following the 2013 polls, National Party and Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz struck a power sharing deal to share the office of the chief minister equally during the five year tenure. Under the deal also known as the Murree agreement, the two parties agreed that the tenure would be divided half and half between NP's Abdul Malik Baloch and PML-N's Sanaullah Zehri.

  • The NP has been critical of federal policies towards Balochistan and has claimed that the centre has exploited the province's resources. It also continued to campaign against extrajudicial killings and kidnappings of political workers in the province.

  • When Malik Baloch took over as the province's chief minister after the 2013 general polls, the party focused on holding dialogue with Baloch militants in order to put an end to armed resistance and bringing them into mainstream politics.

Criticism and controversy

  • Though NP calls itself a nationalist party and advocates Baloch rights, it has been accused of propagating federal policies that may not necessarily benefit the province.

  • The party has also struggled to resolve Balochistan's missing persons' issue during its government but in 2015 then chief minister Abdul Malik Baloch admitted that his party had failed to effectively address the issue.

  • The party's stance on Gwadar was called into question after NP leader and then Minister for Ports and Shipping Bizenjo said CPEC projects would benefit the public while admitting that 91 per cent of the revenue from the port will go to China.

  • In 2017, NP had objected to the census, saying it should be held after the repatriation of Afghan refugees. The party had warned that it would not accept census results if it was held before the refugees' return.