QUETTA: Balochistan Chief Minister Mir Abdul Quddus Bizenjo has started consultation with the opposition leader, Abdul Rahim Ziaratwal, to finalise the name of the province’s caretaker chief minister.

Different names have been under consideration for the top post in the province. Some of the contenders include Prince Ahmed Ali Ahmedzai, who is currently the provincial minister for environment and information technology, former federal minister Zubaida Jalal and Nawab Ghous Bakhsh Barozai. No consensus has been reached as yet.

Mr Bizenjo, however, said that they were in search of a young “non-political person” for the caretaker chief minister’s position. He added that they needed someone who could conduct fair and free general elections in the province, not interfere with the polls.

Contenders include Prince Ahmed Ali Ahmedzai, former federal minister Zubaida Jalal and Nawab Ghous Bakhsh Barozai

Speaking to the media on Wednesday, he said that several names were under consideration but no one had been finalised as yet. He said that efforts were under way to find a young and educated candidate for the post.

Referring to the government’s performance since January, he said that despite hurdles and challenges, the current government had made all possible efforts to “functionalise government machinery” in Balochistan.

“We have opened the closed doors of Chief Minister House. We have faced some difficulties such as court restrictions but a chief minister must be allowed to use his power to provide relief to people,” he said, adding that if a chief minister wasn’t allowed to do so then there shouldn’t be one at all.

General elections

Discussing law and order challenges during the 2018 elections, Mr Bizenjo said that while these challenges did exist, the provincial government would try to conduct elections in a peaceful environment in comparison with the last general elections.

Responding to a question about security challenges in his constituency of Awaran, he said that back in 2013, people were threatened to not come out and vote, but the people of Awaran chose the ballot over the bullet and did participate in the polls.

“I am hopeful about the next general elections. They will be held impartially and peacefully not just in Awaran but across the province,” he said.

Published in Dawn, May 24th, 2018

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