Pakistani lawmakers in Balochistan announced the launching of a new province-based political party in Quetta on Thursday.
The announcement of the formation of Balochistan Awami Party (Balochistan Peoples Party) was made by Pakistan Muslim League-Q’s Saeed Ahmad Hashmi at a press conference in the provincial capital of Balochistan.
“The party would be registered with Election Commission of Pakistan once its office bearers are elected,” Hashmi said on Thursday. He also clarified that “Senator Anwar-ul-Haq Kakar will be the central spokesperson while Shoaib Nosherwani will serve as the provincial spokesperson until the party election is conducted.”
A 10-member committee would be constituted to conduct the party election, Hashmi added.
Provincial Chief Minister Mir Abdul Quddus Bizenjo, independently elected senators and some dissident MPAs of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) are among the key members of the Balochistan Awami Party.
The new party members are currently working on the manifesto and rules of the party.
“The economic and political rights of the people of Balochistan will be the chief priority of the party and it will never compromise on either of them” affirmed Senator Anwar-Ul-Haq Kakar, the spokesman of the new party.
Former Senator Saeed Ahmad Hashmi said that although he has now decided to part ways with the ruling party, but “we are not separating ourselves from the mindset of Muslim League.”
The new party, he said, is being launched using Muslim League’s mindset “but with a different name”.
Pakistani media reports suggest that former governor Nawab Zulfiqar Ali Magsi, ex-CM Jan Mohammad Khan Jamali are among those whose names have been tabled for the post of president of the new party. The final decision on the selection of president is going to be will be made after further discussions within the party leadership.
“All dissident MPAs of the PML-N and independent senators who were elected in the recent Senate elections would be important members of the new party,” the sources told Dawn. Ex-senator Hashmi had floated the idea of forming a new political party for the dissenting members of the PML-N in Balochistan. According to sources, Hashmi was also pivotal in the appointment of Bizenjo as the chief minister.
It may be recalled that Balochistan Home Minister Mir Sarfraz Bugti had earlier announced the formation of the new party in collaboration with Chief Minister Quddus Bizenjo.
Both Bizenjo, who hailed from PML-Q of Chaudhry Shujaat, and Sarfaraz Bugti, were allies in the PML-N led coalition government in the province. Later, Bizenjo parted ways with his predecessor Sanaullah Zehri and managed to form a new ruling coalition in which Bizenjo was elected chief minister and Sarfaraz Bugti was home minister.
The Bizenjo-Bugti group emerged all-powerful as Pakistan’s first Senate chairman from Balochistan, Sadiq Sanjrani, was elected this month with the support of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI).