PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif wears a traditional turban presented by BAP leader Sardar Mohammad Saleh Bhootani.—Facebook/pml.n.official
PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif wears a traditional turban presented by BAP leader Sardar Mohammad Saleh Bhootani.—Facebook/pml.n.official

• Several former ministers from Balochistan join PML-N
• Delegations of political parties meet Nawaz; no decision on electoral alliance though

QUETTA: At least two dozen prominent politicians from Balochistan joined the PML-N on Tuesday after a meeting in Quetta with its supreme leader Nawaz Sharif, who arrived in the provincial capital on a two-day visit to woo ‘electables’ in the lead-up to the Feb 8 elections.

The former prime minister, who returned from London in October following four years in self-imposed exile, also met the leadership of several political parties at a hotel, where media was not allowed to enter.

PML-N President Sheh­baz Sharif and Chief Org­aniser Maryam Nawaz also attended the meeting.

It may be noted that PML-N leaders Ayaz Sadiq and Jaffar Khan Mandokhel (who heads the provincial chapter of the party) had been holding negotiations with these electables to persuade them to join the PML-N. These politicians, however, had said that they would join the former ruling party, only in the presence of Nawaz Sharif.

The prominent leaders and notables included former minister Sardar Fateh Mohammad, Mujeebur Rehman Mohammad Hasni, Mir Saleem Ahmed Khosa, Mir Faiq Ali Jamali, and ex-senator Saeedul Hassan. They all belonged to the PPP.

Former BAP members Mir Asim Kurd, ex-CM Jam Kamal Khan Alyani, Mir Dostain Khan Domki, Ghafoor Lehri, Moham­mad Khan Lehri, Shoaib Nusherwani, Sardar Abdul Rehman Khetran, Sardar Masood Khan Luni, Mohammad Khan Toor Utmankhel, Noor Mohammad Dummar, Agha Faisal Ahmedzai, and Dr Rubaba Buledi also joined the PML-N.

Former minister Mir Khan Mohammad Jamali, Mir Omer Khan Jamali, and Sardar Atif Sanjrani, who hailed from the PTI, also entered the folds of the PML-N.

Senator Dr Ashok Kumar of the National Party and Meena Zeenat Shahwani of the BNP-Mengal also parted ways with their parties to join hands with Nawaz Sharif.

Similarly, Sardar Nia­m­atullah, Engineer Basant Lal Gulshan, Raamen Mohammad Hasni, Sardar Ali Haider Mohammad Hasni, Mir Attaullah Buledi, Sardarzada Idrees Taj, Haji Noorullah Lehri, Sher Gul Khilji, Mir Anwar Shahwani, Jaffar Karim Bhangar, Haji Barkat Ali Rind, Malik Shehryar, and Shoukat Bangulzai also entered the PML-N camp.

No consensus on alliance

On the other hand, the meeting with the leadership of Balochistan-based political parties did not prove to be fruitful.

Sources said a formal consensus on forging an election alliance or establishing a joint electoral platform to contest polls in the province could not be reached.

The parties which called on the former premier included the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP), Balochistan National Party-Mengal, Pashtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP), and the National Party.

PkMAP chief Mahmood Khan Achakzai and JUI-F’s Balochistan chapter leader Abdul Wasay did not attend the meeting.

BAP’s delegation was headed by Khalid Magsi while Dr Abdul Malik led the National Party’s delegation.

After the meeting with Mr Sharif, BAP leader Khalid Magsi said it was an informal meeting wherein “we welcomed Mr Sharif and he expressed his views”.

The BAP leader said more meetings with the PML-N would be held in future which would be focused on electoral alliances.

According to insiders, it was an “informal meeting” held at the invitation of the PML-N president and no decision was taken regarding elections.

Sources said the leaders who met the PML-N supremo discussed the overall situation prevailing in the country, particularly Balochistan. The nationalist parties’ leaders relayed their reservations and apprehensions about the issues being faced by the province and the results of the previous elections.

Mr Sharif, while welcoming those who joined the party, said their inclusion would pave the way for a “strong government” in Balochistan after general elections.

“The development of Balochistan has always been dear to PML-N. Our government started construction of thousands of kilometres of network of highways and roads in the province to eradicate poverty,” Mr Sharif said.

He also mentioned the construction of a 600km road from Gwadar to Quetta, which reduced the journey from the port city to the provincial capital to eight hours.

Published in Dawn, November 15th, 2023

Opinion

Editorial

Another lynching
Updated 22 Jun, 2024

Another lynching

The chilling alternative to not doing anything — which appears to be the state’s preferred option — is the advent of mob rule.
Tax & representation
22 Jun, 2024

Tax & representation

THE taxation measures outlined in the budget for the incoming fiscal year have triggered a lot of concern among ...
Life of the party?
22 Jun, 2024

Life of the party?

THE launch of Awaam Pakistan, a party led by former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and former finance minister...
KP’s ‘power struggle’
Updated 21 Jun, 2024

KP’s ‘power struggle’

Instead of emboldening protesters, CM Gandapur should encourage his provincial subjects to clear their due bills and ensure theft is minimised.
Journalist’s murder
21 Jun, 2024

Journalist’s murder

ANOTHER name has been added to the list of journalists murdered in Pakistan. On Tuesday, Khalil Jibran’s vehicle...
A leaner government?
21 Jun, 2024

A leaner government?

FINANCE Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb has reiterated his government’s ‘commitment’ to shutting down ministries...