ISLAMABAD - After Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Balochistan chapter has also come up with strong protest over awarding of party tickets to the favourites and blue-eyed for the upcoming Senate elections from the province and Chief Minister Nawab Aslam Khan Raisani rushed to the Federal Capital on the call of President Asif Ali Zardari to tackle this volatile situation.

Accompanied with Deputy Parliamentary leader of PPP in Balochistan Assembly, Ali Madad Jatak, and Parliamentary Leader of PML-Q, Asim Kurd, the chief minister briefed the President On Saturday about the strong reaction by the provincial chapter of the party and resignation by party vice-president Ghulam Akbar Lasi to protest the awarding of party tickets to, what he termed, the paratroopers in the party who have nothing to do with the party or its ideology what to speak of doing any service to it.

Earlier some of the party leaders from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had also protested the ignoring of senior party leaders while awarding party tickets to the candidates from the province and questioned the names short-listed by the board constituted by the Co-Chairman of the party, President Asif Ali Zardari, for conducting the interview of the candidates.

The board under the head of Faryal Talpur, sister of President Zardari, had short-listed the names of Lal Mohammad Khan, Farhatullah Khan Babar, Azam Afridi, Begum Pukhraj and Begum Tehmass as the party is expecting to fetch some four seats from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Meanwhile, in the latest development, the Balochistan chapter of the party had come up with very strong reaction to the awarding of the party ticket to Barrister Saif Magsi, son of Balochistan Governor Nawab Zulfiqar Magsi, who had joined the party a few days back ostensibly to justify his candidature for the party ticket for upcoming Senate elections.

In reaction the vice-president of PPP Balochistan Chapter Ghulam Akbar Lasi, a time-tested companion of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto, had resigned in protest while a number of other party leaders from the province could follow the suit if the decision was not reversed.

According to the announcement made by the party in this connection, the PPP candidates list from Balochistan included Barrister Saif Magsi, former federal minister Sardar Fateh Mohammad Hassani, Javid Ahmad, Mohammad Yousuf and Hina Gulzar.

The sources in PPP informed TheNation that the party’s veteran in Balochistan had resented the decision and a lot of PPP MPAs were also backing the move and could create problems for the party in case they were not appeased or convinced on the decision taken by the selection board.

These sources said that Barrister Saif Magsi a few days back formally joined the party and it was evident that all this was done just to justify awarding of party ticket to him. Similarly Hina Gulzar has nothing to do with Balochistan and she was only obliged because of his brother Federal Minister Senator Waqar Gulzar, who is considered to be a close friend of President Zardari.

The sources aware of the deliberations of the meeting between Balochistan CM Raisani and President Zardari informed TheNation that both the leaders discussed the strategy of the Senate elections from Balochistan and President Zardari had directed the CM to calm down the party leaders and activists on the decision of the party and accommodate them in some other way. The strategy of deciding the candidates for the Senate elections with other parliamentary parties in the province was in progress with the sole aim to evolve consensus to avoid polling as in the past it was witnessed that the MPAs had voted against the party candidates and a number of dark horses had won the elections allegedly by purchasing the votes of the MPs.

The sources in the party further informed that for past sometime the party leadership had been in consultation with other stakeholders both in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa so that the polling could not be held to avoid horse-trading, which had been the common practice in the Senate elections held in past. However, besides the Senate elections Chief Minister Raisani briefed the President on the progress in the development projects and overall law and order situation in the province.  He said that the issue of encroachment of Railways land in the province was also discussed in the meeting. The President advised the chief minister to consider giving alternate land and compensation to the affectees. The chief minister said that the provincial government would provide alternate land to the affected people and would also compensate them for a smooth and peaceful resolution of the issue.