QUETTA - Dr Abdul Malik Baloch was elected unopposed Balochistan chief minister on Saturday. He is the first chief executive of the province who is neither a tribal chieftain nor member of any family who once ruled princely states.

Nomination forms for the post of chief minister were to be submitted on June 8 in the Assembly Secretariat from 10am to 2pm and the election was to be held on Sunday. However, as no one filed a nomination challenging Dr Malik, the National Party president was elected to the slot unopposed. The CM-elect would take the oath of his office at 6pm on Sunday.

Talking to media after the submission of his nomination forms, Dr Abdul Malik said he would encourage the new generation of Balochistan to the course of education as he vowed to promote the culture of ‘pen’ and end the culture of weapons. He said the people of Balochistan had endured innumerable excesses and he would make all the efforts possible to quash the perpetuation of further excesses.

The CM-elect e said he will utilise all his energies to mitigate their sufferings, adding that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has assured them of full cooperation in this regard. He said a strategy for peace is already available and they would hold talks with the ‘disgruntled brothers’. “We will do anything possible to settle the issue of mutilated bodies, kidnapping for ransom and sectarian violence.”

He also stressed upon the political parties to come together to thrash out the issues of Balochistan and expressed his optimism that the media would assist them in this regard and would highlight their weaknesses. He said that all three coalition government partners would sit together to find out solutions to the issues being confronted by the people. Dr Malik said the services of prominent national and international economists would be availed to prepare the provincial budget. He said that neither they themselves would involve in any malpractices nor would they allow others to do so.

To a question he said, the process of formation of the provincial cabinet will be completed very soon as serious people have been included in the ruling alliance. He said the cabinet would comprise of senior and seasoned people. He was of the view that the slot of deputy speaker in Balochistan Assembly was given to PML-Q by PML-N as the party leadership had decided at Murree that the slot of speaker and deputy speaker both would remain with PML-N and it was their decision. “NP had no objection to it,” he said. He parried a question regarding role of the JUI-F in the provincial government.

Earlier, Dr Malik also met with a delegation of JUI-F led by Abdul Wasey and asked for their support upon which the JUI leader announced his unconditional support to him for the CM slot. Abdul Rehman Kehtran also took his decision back for submission of his nomination papers for the position of chief minister following a meeting with Dr Abdul Malik.

Dr Abdul Malik Baloch is a medical doctor by profession. He belongs to a middle-class and educated family of Kech district. Born in Sigenisar village near Turbat in the family of Haji Abdul Salam, a land holding farmer, Dr Malik got his early education from a village school and did his intermediate from the Government Collage, Turbat. He completed his MBBS from the Bolan Medical College and later specialised in eye surgery. He ran a clinic in Turbat for a brief period before entering active politics.