QUETTA: The outgoing Chief Minister Balochistan, Dr Abdul Malik Baloch, has declined to accept the offer either to become Speaker Balochistan Assembly or act as senior provincial cabinet member under the chief ministership of Sardar Sanaullah Khan Zehri, it was learnt.
Sources privy to the development told Business Recorder that as part of the prime minister’s reconciliation policy in Balochistan, the party had offered Dr Baloch of National Party (NP) the slot of Speaker of the provincial assembly or the portfolio of a senior provincial minister but he declined to accept the offer politely.
“Dr Abdul Malik Baloch declined the offer with thanks, saying his party is ready to cooperate with the new chief minister of the PML-N as a coalition partner but will not accept any ministerial or other position,” a source privy to discussion in a meeting told Business Recorder.
The meeting which was attended by Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Minister for Railways Saad Rafiq, the newly nominated chief minister Nawab Sanaullah Zehri and other PML-N leaders also mulled over the name of the new speaker of the provincial assembly and the portfolios of various ministries.
When contacted National Party’s parliamentarian Sardar Kamal Khan Bangulzai said that the party’s Chief Minister Dr Abdul Malik Baloch has already announced his resignation following completion of his tenure as per the power-sharing agreement between the two parties.
“There is no issue from our side…We are not seeking any ministry or office of the Speaker of the provincial assembly, as we have already announced that we are not going to hold any position but we are ready to cooperate,” he said. According to sources, the Prime Minister is insisting that Dr Abdul Malik Baloch accepts the slot of speaker Balochistan Assembly and another meeting is also likely to be held on Wednesday (today) for further deliberations on the new speaker and the portfolios of the cabinet members.
“In case, Baloch is not ready to accept the offer, then Raheela Khan Durrani is the most likely candidate of PML-N for the slot of the Speaker,” the source maintained. The sources further maintained that there was also an internal issue on the portfolios of various ministries and discussions were under way to finalize the provincial cabinet. “Various members of the provincial assembly from PML-N are in the race for various provincial ministries but the leadership will decide keeping in view the representation of other coalition partners,” the source further said.
PML-N Balochistan chapter spokesman Allauddin Kakar said that deliberations would continue till the finalization of one name for the office of the speaker. “It is up to the central leadership to nominate anybody for the office,” he said, adding in a day or two the situation will be clearer and once it is decided the session of the provincial assembly will be called to elect the new speaker.
He further said the election of the speaker will be followed by the election of chief minister. On December 12, 2015, Dr Abdul Malik Baloch announced that he would resign as the chief minister upon expiry of his term of two and a half years in the office but the Prime Minister requested him to continue until his return from abroad.
Source: Business Recorder