QUETTA: Balochistan’s Senior Minister Sardar Abdul Rehman Khetaran has said that through the recent delimitation of national and provincial assembly constituencies, the Election Commission of Pakistan has tried to pit different communities and tribes against each other in Balochistan.

“New constituencies created by the ECP will trigger tribal disputes which the government is trying to resolve,” he said while speaking in the PA session on Friday.

He said the new government had come to power with a pledge to restore peace and promote brotherhood among different tribes and resolve their disputes, but the new delimitations would create division among the people and pit them against each other.

He said the government believed in the rule of law and it would not allow anyone to make a state within the state. He said the ECP had given time for filing of objections on new constituencies till July 30 and political parties should file their objections there to resolve the issue.

PTI MPA Mobin Ahmed Khilji also criticised the new delimitation of constituencies and said that the ECP, instead of making delimitation on merit and keeping in view ground realities, had announced new constituencies on the desire of a nationalist party.

He said that some constituencies had a small number of voters while some others had massive number of voters.

He said that in some cases new delimitations had deprived several communities of representation in the Balochistan Assembly.

He suggested lawmakers to challenge new delimitations in the court to end controversy triggered by the ECP.

Malik Naeem Bazai of ANP expressed dissatisfaction over the new constituencies, but said he was ready to contest election under new delimitation of constituencies announced by the ECP.

“I’m not worried about my election and ready to face opposition parties and even the joint candidate of JUI-F and PkMAP, as I have served my people and did work for their welfare in my constituency,” Mr Bazai said.

Leader of Opposition Malik Sikandar Khan said that there was time to go before elections and during this period efforts should be made to remove mistakes committed by the ECP in the new constituencies.

Deputy Speaker Sardar Babar Khan Musakhail said that the ECP was an independent institution and the house could not pass any order to summon the ECP representatives.

He said that leaders of political parties affected by the ECP delimitation exercise should inform the ECP Balo­chis­tan Member Shah Muhammad Jatoi about their reservations on new constituencies to get the matter resolved.

Published in Dawn, June 11th, 2022

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