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QUETTA: Though the founder of the newly formed Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) lost in the Quetta city constituency, the party emerged victorious, winning most Balochistan Assembly seats, setting it up to form a coalition government.

The Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal (MMA) and the Balochistan National Party (BNP-Mengal) won nine and seven provincial assembly seats respectively. Both parties managed to bag five National Assembly seats each from the province. BNP-Mengal’s president Sardar Akhtar Jan Mengal won one of the NA seats.

The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) managed to win only one seat, which Nawab Sanaullah Khan Zehri — a former chief minister of Balochistan — brought home. He won in his native constituency defeating his half-brother Mir Israrullah Zehri, president of the Balochistan National Party-Awami.

Both the Balochistan National Party (BNP) and the Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP), who were partners in the coalition government have failed to win any seat in the NA — at least until the latest reports. The PkMAP has, however, won one provincial seat, with Nasrullah Zeray taking his constituency.

Newly-formed BAP likely to form coalition govt in the violence-hit province

Mehmood Khan Achakzai lost in two NA constituencies, one from Quetta and the other in Qila Abdullah. The BNP as well faced tremendous failure with all its prominent leaders losing —even in their strongholds in Khuzdar and Makran.

According to the latest reports, BAP has won 13 seats in the provincial assembly, but the party has failed to win any seat in the NA. Jam Mir Kamal Khan Alyani — the party’s president — won the provincial seat from his home constituency Lasbela.

BAP leaders who played a critical role in establishing the party, Mir Jan Mohammad Khan Jamali and Mir Abdul Quddus Bizenjo, both won in their constituencies — Jaffarabad and Awaran.

Despite the MMA’s relatively decent performance, the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl’s (JUI-F) Secretary General Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri, who was contesting for the provincial assembly, lost the election amid allegations of massive rigging.

Latest reports suggest that the MMA has won five NA seats from Quetta, Pishin, the Loralai and Qila Abdullah districts.

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), for the first time, succeeded in winning three national and three provincial assembly seats in the province. Qasim Khan Suri who was the runner-up for the Quetta NA seat in 2013, won this time in NA-265-Quetta-II with a large margin. The party’s president in Balochistan, Sardar Yar Muhammad Rind, won seats both in the NA and the provincial assembly. The third NA seat added in the account of the PTI was from Jaffarabad district, where Mir Khan Muhammad Jamali defeated his close relative Mir Changez Khan Jamali of the Pakistan Peoples Party.

Mir Omar Khan Jamali of the PTI won a provincial assembly seat from Rojhan Jamali — the political headquarters of the tribe. Mir Omar, son of former prime minister Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali, defeated his cousin Ms Rahat Faiq Jamali of the BAP. In 2013 Ms Jamali had defeated Omar Jamali. The PTI won another provincial assembly seat in the PB-29-Quetta constituency, where Mobin Ahmed Khilji finished first, defeating the BAP’s Tahir Mehmood. PTI’s Nasibullah Marri won provincial assembly seat in Kohlu.

The Awami National Party also improved its performance and managed to win three provincial assembly seats. Engineer Zamarak Khan won his provincial seat for the third time. The party’s president in the province, Asghar Khan Achakzai, and Malik Naeem Khan Bazai were both elected for the first time to the Balochistan Assembly.

The Hazara Democratic Party also recorded two victories for the first time. The party’s president Abdul Khaliq Hazara and Ahmed Ali Kohzad were both elected to the Balochistan Assembly.

Four independent candidates were also elected from Zhob, Loralai, Barkhan and Shaheed Sikandarabad Surab.

Some political observers say that Sardar Masood Khan could join the BAP.

Published in Dawn, July 27th, 2018