Political gimmicks over Senate Polls in Balochistan
February 03, 2012
Likewise in rest of the country, political manoeuvring has started in Balochistan for the senate elections. All attempts are being made to introduce new players to the game while the old players have started changing their political gimmicks.
PML-Q, a key ally of the government, which has the maximum seats in the Balochistan assembly, has started preparations for the elections. In order to bag the senate elections the PML-Q has started wooing in dissident members. But to say who will win the political manipulations is premature.
It is surprising, after the passage of four years the government allies parties have started realising their dismissal performance and their failure to play any substantial role to remove the sense of deprivation amongst the Baloch people and for their betterment.
On January 29, Balochistan Assembly unanimously passed a resolution in support of President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani for their efforts to strengthen democracy in the country.
Provincial Minister for Communication Ali Madad Jatak tabled the resolution. "The Balochistan Assembly reposes its trust in the leadership of President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani and fully supports their efforts to strengthen democracy. Bright future of Pakistan and welfare of the masses depends on smooth flourishing of democracy and democratic set-up. Only a constitutional government can guarantee strength of the federation, resolution of national issues and empowerment of the nation," the resolution said. Ten out of 65 lawmakers, an overwhelming majority of whom were ministers, turned up to attend the scheduled session and unanimously passed the resolution.
Speaker Aslam Bhootani presided over the session. Ali Madad Jatak of the Pakistan Peaople’s Party (PPP), in his resolution, stated that future of Pakistan was linked with democracy and it was necessary that all institutions worked under the constitutional parameters without interfering in each other’s affairs.
Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) lawmaker Jaffar Mandokhel, while backing the resolution, said the lawmakers in Balochistan Assembly had become social workers instead of engaging in serious legislation. Underscoring lack of interest by the lawmakers, Mandokhel said the members had not been attending assembly sessions punctually. “Therefore, today you can see few lawmakers have turned up to attend the scheduled session. We, the legislators, are busy constructing gutter and nullah rather than doing legislation. Everyone raises issues while ignoring enacting laws needed to address those issues,” said Mandokhel.
Provincial Law Minister Begum Perveen Magsi also expressed her anger and said it was irresponsible that only a few lawmakers were present in the first proceeding of the second winter session. “Balochistan is facing serious crises in maintaining law and order and managing shortage of gas,” she added. Provincial ministers Ghulam Jam of Balochistan National Party-Awami (BNP-A), Ismail Gujjar, Ainullah Shams and Shahnwaz Marri backed the resolution.
Minister for Health Ainullah Shams said the government should be given a chance to complete its five-year tenure as masses had elected it for that duration.
The nationalist parties of Balochistan have also started to mend their ways. Political analysts say that electoral alliance between Balochistan National party and National party cannot be ruled out. But under the current circumstances it would be a difficult decision for Bloch nationalist parties to face lections.
On January 29, the central leadership of PML-Q reached Quetta for dialogue with Parliamentary group with respect to senate elections.
Talking to the media PML-Q leader Ch Shujjat said, we would evolve strategy with political parties for March 2 Senate elections. No person from outside the province would be awarded ticket and local person would be given ticket for Senate polls and its decision would be decided by PM L members of assembly.
Central Secretary General Mushahid Hussain Syed, provincial ministers Asim Kurd Galloo, Habibur Rehman Muhammad Hasni, Amanullah Notezai, Babu Rahim Mengal, Begum Shama Parveen Magsi, Mrs Nasreen Khetran, Mrs Rubina Irfan, Basant Lal Gulshan, MPA Shaikh Jaffar Mandokhel, Acting Pjreisdnet PML Balochistan Abdul Sattar Kakar, former provincial ministers Sardar Hyder Khan Nassar, Shoaib Nausherwani and others were also present.
Chaudhry Shujaat said purpose of their visit to Quetta is to hold consultations with party leaders and workers. Ours are the biggest party in the province. And we have 18 members in Balochistan assembly. We also held consultation with allied parties besides our own leaders He said our party is united and it would remain united in future also.
All the member exercised their right to vote for election of Muhammad Ali Rind for Senate seat. He said this time ticket would be given to people in Balochistan and any investor or outsider would be discarded and would not give ticket. He said PML has played basic role for democracy and our role is before all. We played role of conciliation and bridge instead of fueling the fire to avoid democracy form going destabilise.
He disclosed he gave vote to Nawab Aslam Raisani on the directive of Pervez Musharraf because an alliance had taken place between PPP and Musharraf. Answering a question he said PML does not believe in solo flight and it would take allied parties during senate elections.
About issuance of party ticket for Senate polls in Balochistan he said provincial leadership would decide itself. Referring to PML members meeting with Nawaz Sharif he said there is no ban on meetings nor it is sin. Turning to Tehreek Insaf, he said if he brings a good programme, Imran would be our friend and we would cooperate with him.
Replying to a question about return of Musharraf and his arrest, Chaudhry Shujaat said all would be done according to the law. If he returns he would be arrested. He said PML has always played positive role for democracy and supremacy of constitution and law. It is our desire instead of confrontation among institutions, every institution should work within its ambit.
He said there are no differences with former federal minister and opposition MPA Sardar Yar Muhammad Rind. We take any decision in Senate polls taking him into confidence. He said PML wanted to resolve Balochistan issue through talks.
According to political analysts, the true political game in Balochistan would start after the senate elections, in which not only new ‘players’ would be surfaced but old ‘players’ would also lay out their game plane. Those dreaming of CM chair cannot win inspite of changing parties. But who will come out as a winner only time would tell. The question also arises whether any hope can be expected from the new comers and can the dream of prosperous, peaceful Balochistan can be materialised.