ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf  Thursday left its political opponents between a rock and a hard place by announcing that the next chairman of the Upper House of the Parliament should be from Balochistan — the most deprived province of the country that is hit by the insurgency from Baloch separatists.

Following his meeting with the group of independent senators-elect from Balochistan led by Chief Minister Mir Abdul Quddus Bizenjo here at the Balochistan House in Islamabad, Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf announced his party’s support for the CM Balochistan-led group of independent senators-elect.

He said that PTI wished to see next Senate chairman from Balochistan. “CM Balochistan now enjoys all-out support of PTI’s all 13 senators. Now, it is up to him to negotiate with other political parties to get elect a senator hailing from Balochistan as chairman Senate,” he said while talking to reporters.

“Balochistan has a strong sense of deprivation and it is a golden opportunity to lessen this deprivation by electing Senate chairman from the province,” Khan said.

PTI chief also said that his party will try to hamper all attempts being made by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz to get elect is own chairman Senate. 

“PML-N is hell bent upon crippling state institutions”, he said adding: “whole PML-N is committed to safeguard Sharif family’s corruption”.  "We are concerned that if the Senate chairman is from the PML-N, they may enact laws to safeguard the Sharif family from the charges of corruption they face," he explained.

To a question that if the CM Balochistan makes a deal with PPP and agrees to give chairman Senate slot to PPP in return of deputy chairman’s slot, the PTI chief said: “With our support, the CM Balochistan has an upper hand in terms of numbers on PPP”. “Now it is up to him to decide. But, my wish is that senators from Baluchistan manage to get elect their chairman,” he said.

Replying another question that PML-N could nominate Mir Hasil Bizenjo, who also hails from Balochistan for the slot of chairman Senate, the PTI chief said that his party would only support a “blue-blooded individual” from the province.

The PTI chief also said he had convened a meeting of the party’s core group today (Friday) to further discuss election strategy about chairman and deputy chairman Senate.

However, background interviews with some senior PTI leaders say that CM Balochistan had categorically been told that support was limited to giving the slot of the chairman Senate to Balochistan. They said that with this condition, PTI was willing to support any candidate of Pakistan People’s Party for the slot of deputy chairman Senate.

According to a statement issued by PTI’s Central Media Department, Chairman PTI Imran Khan congratulated Mir Quddus Bizenjo for his election as CM. Ironically, the statement said that Imran Khan lauded CM Balochistan for bringing the historic in-house change in the Balochistan Assembly.