ISLAMABAD - Besides holding hectic consultations on swift implementation of National Action Plan and bringing a radical improvement in law and order situation in the restive Balochistan, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif discussed with the leaders of coalition partners in the provincial government the upcoming Senate elections to resolve some of the irritants regarding their share in the elections.
Sources aware of the developments taking place on this front told The Nation that the provincial leaders of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz were not ready to forego their actual share in the Senate elections from the province as, according to some insiders in the PML-N Balochsitan chapter, the party had already sacrificed a lot.
Sources privy to the prime minister’s meeting with PML-N parliamentarians informed The Nation that the matter of distribution of seats among the coalition partners would be decided by a committee of the party, which would be holding meetings with PkMAP and NP leaders in the next couple of days.
The sources said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif also held a meeting with a JUI-F delegation, led by its secretary general State Minister for Postal Services Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri and discussed with him the overall political situation in the province.
The sources further said Premier Sharif was of the view that to stop the way of horse-trading in the Senate elections, the real stakeholders must bring consensus candidates against the vacant seats and should devise the seats-allocation formula commensurate to their representation in the provincial assembly.
The sources further said out of 12 seats, the ruling coalition could manage to win 11 while JUI-F can win one, but with the support of a couple of MPAs in the Balochistan Assembly.
They further said PML-N has awarded tickets to six candidates for the upcoming elections, three against general seats and one each against women, technocrats and minorities.
On the other hand, the junior coalition partners of PML-N, Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party and National Party, have also fielded candidates against reserved seats of minorities, women and technocrats exceeding the total strength of the available seats, exposing the conflict-like situation among the coalition partners.
All the three coalition partners have fielded candidates against a single minority seat, while against the two women and as many technocrats seats, the coalition partners have fielded their own candidates.
Sources in the ruling PML-N said unlike Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa where PML-N was not at all under any pressure, the party was facing stiff resistance from within the party’s provincial chapter against allocation of extra seats to its junior coalition partners.
The provincial chief of PML-N, Sardar Sanaullah Zehri, was not happy with the situation and was a staunch opponent of giving extra seats to PkMAP and National Party in the upcoming Senate elections.
He had developed serious differences with the party’s central leadership over the distribution of slots of district nazims after the recently held local government elections in the province, but, finally, he had to bow to the decision of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif who had given the slot of Quetta district nazim to junior coalition partners in the Balochistan government.
To appease the provincial chief of the party, Sardar Sanaullah Zehri, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had given tickets to his brother Nematullah Zehri and brother-in-law Shahbaz Khan Durrani for general and technocrat seats, respectively, while his recommendations for the party tickets to other candidates were widely honoured with one or two exceptions.
The other candidates who were awarded the party tickets for the upcoming Senate elections from the province included Sardar Yaqoob Khan Nasir and veteran Leaguer Subedar Mandokhel’s son Amir Afzal Khan Mandokhel.
Kalsoom Parveen who is going to complete six-year stint in the upper house against a reserved seat on the ticket of Balochistan National Party (Awami) would again contest the election, but this time on PML-N ticket. The PML-N has fielded Dhanish Kumar against the sole minority seat.