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February 20, 2008

PML-N, JUI-F face major setback in Balochistan

Top Story

February 20, 2008

QUETTA: The results of the National Assembly and provincial assembly elections in Balochistan reflect that the electorate has not only rejected the PML-N but also caused a major setback to the JUI-F whose candidates secured 6 PA seats whereas they had obtained 18 seats in the House of 65 in the 2002 polls.

In Balochistan, the PML-N itself is the major sufferer as it could not retain any of its NA or PA seats. Contrary to the general observations, the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid-e-Azam (PML-Q) and Pakistan Peopleís Party Parliamentarians (PPPP) have won the major chunk of the seats in the national and provincial assemblies, emerging as the major political parties in the general elections 2008. PML-Q candidates secured a total of 20 seats ñ 17 in Balochistan Assembly (BA) and three in the National Assembly (NA). The PPP, which won seven seats in the BA, took lead in the National Assembly with a maximum of four seats. Last time, it had not got any of its candidates elected for the NA. However, it had won two BA seats in the 2002 elections.

Independent candidates also got a major share of 13 seats in the NA and BA ñ 10 in the NA and three in the BA. Balochistan National Party-Awami (BNP-A) emerged as the fourth major party in the BA, securing five seats.

It was a major blow for the MMA in Balochistan, which could not grab even a single seat of NA from the province. In the last elections, the MMA had secured six NA seats. Perhaps, the major reason behind losing seats is the division is the JUI-F Balochistan.

BNP-Awami this time had the chance to make its presence felt in the NA with one seat. The Balochistan results of the NA and PA seats witnessed a few major upsets ñ defeats of Sardar Yar Muhammad Rind on an NA seat from Bolan-Jhal Magsi, JUI-Fís Provincial Ameer, Maulana Muhammad Khan Shirani from Zhob, PML-Qís leader Sardar Fateh Muhammad Hassani, PML-Nís Sardar Yaqoob Khan Nasser, former governor of Balochistan Lt-Gen (retd)

Abdul Quadir Baloch and last but not the least the defeat of former federal minister Zubaida Jalal on PML-Qís ticket.

The prominent winners on different NA seats from Balochistan are PPPPís leader and former chief minister Balochistan Taj Muhammad Jamali (against independent candidate Mir Zahoor Ahmed Khosa), Mir Ahmadan Bugti on the ticket of PML-Q, former chief minister and PML-Q President Balochistan, Jam Muhammad Yousaf, PML-Qís Ehsanullah Reki (against Gen (retd) Abdul Quadir Baloch), PPPPís Sardar Muhammad Umar Gorgeja and Dr Ayatullah Durrani, Syed Nasir Ali Shah alias Syed Abbas from Quetta city, BNP-Awamiís Yaqoob Bizenjo (who emerged victorious against Zubaida Jalal), independent candidate Mir Humayun Aziz Kurd (against Sardar Yar Muhammad Rind) and JUIís Ideological groupís Maulvi Asmatullah (against Maulana Shirani).

Sardar Yar Muhammad, however, was elected on a BA seat from PB-31, Bolan-II. Last time, he had won both the NA and BA seats, but he had vacated the BA seat for Shah Zaman Rind. So this time, it is going to be for the first time for Sardar Yar Muhammad Rind to sit in the BA.

Another noteworthy winner for NA is PPPPís Dr Ayatullah Durrani, who emerged victorious against heavyweights like MMAís Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri and chief of Jhalawan, Sardar Sanaullah Zehri. Last time, Maulana Hyderi had won the election.

Zehri, however, was elected on a BA seat PB-33, Khuzdar. A glance on the results of the Balochistan Assembly shows that in all 17 candidates retained their PA seats. They include the former chief minister, Jam Muhammad Yousaf, former provincial ministers Maulana Abdul Wasey, Maulana Mateeullah Agha, Maulana Abdul Bari Agha (both MMA), former provincial ministers, Syed Ehsan Shah (BNP-Awami), Mir Shoaib Nausherwani, Ms Nasreen Rehman Khetran, Masood Khan Looni and Mir Habibullah Muhammad Hassani and Mir Asim Kurd Gailo (PML), former deputy speaker BA, Muhammad Aslam Bhotani, PPPPís Nawab Aslam Raisani and Shafiq Ahmed Khan, and Mir Bakhtiar Khan Domki. Domki had resigned due to the differences with the Jam Yousaf-led coalition government.

The Balochistan Assembly would also see a seasoned politician, parliamentarian, a prominent tribal personality and Magsiís chieftain, Nawab Zulfiqar Ali Magsi, who was elected as PML candidate in the 2008 elections from PB-32, Jhal Magsi.

Equally experienced parliamentarian is PPPPís Mir Sadiq Umrani and PML-Qís Sarwar Khan Kakar, who have served as provincial ministers, elected from PB-28 Naseerabad and PB-9 Pishin.

There are at least 19 new faces in the BA. They are: PPPís Muhammad Ismail Gujar (PB-3, Quetta-III), Younas Mulazai (PB-4, Quetta-IV), Haji Ali Madad Jatak (PB-5 Quetta-V), MMAís Maulvi Abdul Samad (PB-7, Ziarat), Ainullah Shams (BP-6, Quetta-VI), PML-Qís Muhammad Khan Toor (PB-16, Loralai-II), Tariq Hussain (PB-24, Dera Bugti), Mir Saleem Khosa (PB-27, Jaffarabad-II), Muhammad Rahim (PB-40, Noshki) and Mir Hamal Kalmati (PB-51, Gwadar), BNP-Awamiís Mir Zafarullah Khan (PB-37, Kalat), Ghulam Jan (PB-42, Panjgur) and Asadullah Baloch (PB-43, Panjgur-II), ANPís Sultan Muhammad Tareen (PB-22, Harnai) and independent candidates including Jan Ali Changezi (who beat former provincial minister, PML-Qís Lt-Col (retd) Younas Changezi on PB-2, Quetta-II), Capt (retd) Abdul Khaliq Khan Achakzai (PB-11, Killa Abdullah-I), Rustam Khan Jamali (PB-25, Jaffarabad-I), Agha Irfan Karim (PB-36, Kalat-I), Mir Qambar Ali Gichki (PB-41, Awaran) and Zahoor Ahmed (PB-51, Gwadar).

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