QUETTA: Nawab Aslam Raisani, a veteran nationalist leader and chief of the Sarawan tribe, joined the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI-F) on Wednesday.

Mr Raisani made his decision public during a ceremony at Quetta’s Sarwar House.

Maulana Fazlur Rehman, the chief of JUI-F, and secretary general Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri were present on the occasion.

Nawab Raisani, who served as chief minister of Balochistan from 2008 to 2013, announced his decision to join the JUI-F along with a large number of elders of the Raisani tribe.

Maulana Fazl welcomed Mr Raisani to his party and termed it a big change in Balochistan’s political scene. He said steps must be taken to address the province’s sense of deprivation and to bring it on a par with the rest of the country.

“Balochistan is rich in mineral resources, but the people of the province have no access to this wealth. We believe that the people of this province have the first right to its natural resources,” the Maulana said.

Global powers have set their sights on the country’s resources, he alleged. “These forces are using our own people to lay their hands on our resources. But they should keep in mind that we are always ready for friendship, but will never accept slavery.”

The JUI-F chief said a “new era of freedom will begin” with Nawab Raisani’s move. “It’s a source of happiness for all, including me. I congratulate Nawab Raisani on joining the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam.”

In reply to a question about the Nawab’s role in his party, Maulana Fazl said Mr Raisani would be “honoured in accordance with his stature”.

Published in Dawn, December 8th, 2022

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