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In general elections 2018, Balochistan will find half a dozen brothers testing their mettle against each other in three different constituencies.

The number of sibling-versus-sibling electoral battles would have been even higher, had Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) candidate Nawabzada Siraj Raisani, who would have been up against elder brother Aslam Raisani, not tragically fallen victim to the province's deadliest terrorist attack on Friday afternoon.

Adding to the sibling rivalry is the fact that each of the six contestants in question has either remained a chief minister, provincial minister or a senator during various provincial governments.

Nawabzada Gazeen Marri, the former home minister of Balochistan, is contesting on the PB-9 (Kohlu) seat against his brother, Nawab Jangez Marri — chieftain of the Marri tribe.

Gazeen returned to Pakistan on September 22, 2017 after ending an 18-year-long self-imposed exile in the United Arab Emirates.

"This is the beauty of democracy", Shehzada Zulfiqar, a Quetta based senior journalist told DawnNewsTV.

But these frequent instances of brotherly battles also mean polarised families — something Zulfiqar says happens once a tribe's head is no more.

“Until the heads of families are alive, cracks don’t appear in the unit,” he explained.

Another political battle featuring the Zehri brothers is brewing in PB-38 (Khuzdar) and district Shaheed Sikandarabad.

Balochistan National Party (Awami) chief Mir Israrullah Zehri is contesting the elections against his brother Nawab Sanaullah Zehri — the former chief minister of Balochistan.

Sanaullah had won this seat in the 2013 general elections on a PML-N ticket.

Meanwhile, in PB-36 Shaheed Sikandarabad, Nawabzada Niamatullah Zehri is contesting election against Nawabzada Zafarullah Zehri.

Zafar Zehri won this seat in both 2008 and 2013, and was also the home minister Balochistan during Nawab Aslam Raisani’s government in the province.

Apart from the brothers' pairings, several cousins in tribal families will also go head to head come July 25.

Ali Mardan Domki and Sardar Sarfaraz Domki are both contesting for PB-7 (Sibi/Lehri).

Sardar Sarfaraz won this seat in 2013 but has since joined the newly formed BAP. Ali Mardan, on the other hand, is contesting as an independent candidate.

Another battle worth keeping an eye on is PB-10 (Dera Bugti), where Nawab Aali Bugti and Nawabzada Gohram Bugti — both grandsons of the late Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti — will have their names on the ballot.