PPP and ‘N’ yet to name Balochistan CM, speaker

Published February 26, 2024
This photo combo shows Sanaullah Zehri (L) and Sarfraz Bugti (R). — File photos
This photo combo shows Sanaullah Zehri (L) and Sarfraz Bugti (R). — File photos

QUETTA: The leadership of future coalition partners in Balochistan, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) could not finalise the names of their candidates for the top slots of the leader of the house, speaker, and deputy speaker, with three days remaining for the first session of the Balochistan Assembly, which has been summoned on Wednesday.

According to the formula reached between the central leadership of PPP and PML-N, after PPP agreed to support PML-N’s candidate Shehbaz Sharif for the prime ministership in the National Assembly, both parties decided to form a coalition government in Balochis­tan.

The chief minister will be a nominee from PPP, the office of the speaker will be from PML-N, and the deputy speaker will come from PPP. The slot of the new governor will go to PML-N.

Sources said that the PPP central leadership is considering three to four names for the chief minister position, including former chief minister Nawab Sanaullah Zehri, former caretaker interior minister Sarfraz Ahmed Bugti, former Baloc­histan finance minister Mir Zahoor Ahmed Buledi, and veteran party leader Mir Sadiq Umrani, who joined in 1972 and has remained with PPP until now.

PPP insiders said the leadership is facing opposition to the nominations of Mr Zehri and Mr Bugti as the new leader of the house. They said the chief minister candidate should be decided through consensus between both parties.

Despite several meetings between MPAs and MNAs elected on February 8, and discussions with the PPP high command, the name for chief minister could not be finalised. The majority of legislators have advocated for a “jiyala” to lead the next coalition government in Balochistan, as PPP has emerged as the single majority party with 17 MPAs in the house of 65 members.

“The name for the leader of the house was discussed at the Sunday meeting of the PPP, but no one was nominated as the party’s candidate for the slot of chief minister,” they said.

The same situation is evident in the PML-N as the party’s provincial leaders held a meeting with Shehbaz Sharif and discussed the future coalition government in the province.

Sources said some PML-N MPAs have expressed reservations over giving the slot of chief minister to PPP without consulting the provincial leadership.

According to party insiders, the provincial parliamentary party has suggested the name of Raheela Hameed Khan Durrani for the position of Balochistan Assembly speaker. She also served as the speaker from 2013 to 2018.

The provincial leadership has strongly opposed giving the speakership to any party other than PML-N.

Balochistan Awami Party leaders have demanded that the slot of speaker and proposed the name of Sadiq Sanjrani, the sitting Senate chairman, who will retire on March 8, after completing his six-year tenure as a senator.

According to reports, PML-N central leadership has not finalised the name of the party’s candidate for speaker.

However, the PML-N provincial leadership said that they will accept the decision of the party’s central leadership about the speakership.

Party sources indicate that the PML-N is yet to finalise the name for the governor.

Since it has been decided that the post will go to PML-N, various names were under consideration.

PML-N Balochistan president, Sheikh Jaffar Khan Mandokhail, is leading the race for appointment as the next governor of Balochistan.

Published in Dawn, February 26th, 2024

Opinion

Editorial

IMF’s projections
Updated 18 Apr, 2024

IMF’s projections

The problems are well-known and the country is aware of what is needed to stabilise the economy; the challenge is follow-through and implementation.
Hepatitis crisis
18 Apr, 2024

Hepatitis crisis

THE sheer scale of the crisis is staggering. A new WHO report flags Pakistan as the country with the highest number...
Never-ending suffering
18 Apr, 2024

Never-ending suffering

OVER the weekend, the world witnessed an intense spectacle when Iran launched its drone-and-missile barrage against...
Saudi FM’s visit
Updated 17 Apr, 2024

Saudi FM’s visit

The government of Shehbaz Sharif will have to manage a delicate balancing act with Pakistan’s traditional Saudi allies and its Iranian neighbours.
Dharna inquiry
17 Apr, 2024

Dharna inquiry

THE Supreme Court-sanctioned inquiry into the infamous Faizabad dharna of 2017 has turned out to be a damp squib. A...
Future energy
17 Apr, 2024

Future energy

PRIME MINISTER Shehbaz Sharif’s recent directive to the energy sector to curtail Pakistan’s staggering $27bn oil...