QUETTA: The president of the newly formed Balochistan Awami Party (BAP), Jam Mir Kamal, has said that it is the right time to unite for the achievement of rights that were denied to the province allegedly by Islamabad, outlining that the party was formed to protect the interests of Balochistan.

Mr Kamal was elected as the party’s first president and Manzoor Kakar — a former MPA of Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party— was elected secretary general in BAP’s first council session.

Read more: The sudden political drama in Balochistan, and why it matters for the upcoming Senate elections

Chief Minister Mir Quddus Bizenjo, Senator Anwarul Haq Kakar, founder of the party Syed Saeed Ahmed Hashmi and several ministers attended the session along with a large number of party workers and councillors.

Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, Mr Kamal said that Balochistan was deprived of its due rights as there was no say of the province and its leadership at federal level.

“We were not in the position to take any decision for our own province,” he said, adding that BAP was formed to safeguard rights and interests of Balochistan. He said instead of tall claims, the party believed in practical efforts for bringing prosperity in Balochistan.

Meanwhile, on the occasion Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) leader and former coordinator, Ustaad Muhammad Azeem Kakar, announced his decision to join the newly formed party.

BAP’s General Secretary Manzoor Kakar and former vice president of PTI’s Balochistan chapter Ismail Lehri welcomed him to the party.

Responding to a question about talks with disgruntled Baloch leaders living abroad including the Khan of Kalat, Mr Kamal said that their first priority was to work for the poor and deprived people of Balochistan.

“Our prime goal is to revamp the educational structure in the province and provide better healthcare to our masses,” said BAP chairman.

Published in Dawn, May 17th, 2018