QUETTA: National Party President Dr Abdul Malik Baloch has announced that his party will sit on the opposition benches in the Balochistan Assembly and will not join any government at the provincial and federal levels.

Speaking at a press conference after the party’s central committee meeting on Thursday, Rehmat Baloch, Khair Jan Baloch, and Aom Kalsoom also stated that the party boycotted the assembly session for the speaker and deputy speaker’s oath-taking ceremony.

He said that the recent elections in Balochistan were the worst in the history of Pakistan and Balochistan, likening them to the first elections in Fata, which were ‘marred by corruption involving billions of rupees’.

“We are democratic people and believe in non-violence, and we will continue our struggle for rights of the people and supremacy of parliament and the Constitution,” he said.

Dr Baloch stated that the National Party’s two-day central committee meeting, which concluded on Thursday, rejected the election results and decided not to attend the oath-taking ceremony of the speaker and deputy speaker. The central committee also decided to sit in the opposition and continue to fight for the rights of the people of Balochistan, whether inside or outside parliament, as it is their democratic right.

Responding to a question about bringing a candidate for the position of chief minister of Balochistan with the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam, Dr Abdul Malik Baloch said: “I don’t know about the decision of the JUI, but we have decided to sit in the opposition.”

In response to another question, he said: “We have neither contacted nor had any association with the PML-N for forming the government.”

Published in Dawn, March 1st, 2024

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