Serious differences appear in PML-N Balochistan after Quetta rally

Ahsan Iqbal says Qadir Baloch can resign if he wants to

By: News Desk      Published: 05:52 PM, 31 Oct, 2020
Serious differences appear in PML-N Balochistan after Quetta rally
Abdul Qadir Baloch

A serious dispute emerged in the Balochistan chapter of PML-N after the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) rally in Quetta as Lt-Gen (retd) Abdul Qadir Baloch – the provincial president – was unhappy over not inviting former chief minister Sanaullah Zehri to the public gathering.

In a report, 24NewsHD TV channel said Baloch developed differences with the top leadership as PML-N Senior Vice-President Shahid Khaqan Abbasi had refused to invite Zehri.

The party leadership is of the opinion that Zehri remained abroad for two-and-a-half years and thus could not become part of the PDM rallies.

On the other hand, PML-N Secretary-General Ahsan Iqbal admitted the differences between Zehri and BNP-M chief Sardar Akhtar Mengal, saying they did not want the former chief minister to attend the Quetta rally.

About the reports that Baloch has decided to resign from the party, Ahsan said it was his choice, if he wanted to. “It is up to him if Abdul Qadir Baloch wants to resign.”

The remarks came as there are media reports that the PML-N Balochistan president had decided to resign from the party which would be announced at a press conference.

Some reports even suggest that Baloch isn’t happy with the narrative and hard line adopted by Nawaz Sharif in recent months.

Nawaz had told a party meeting held in Lahore last month after the opposition’s All Parties Conference that he did not need cowards and those, who were not ready to stand by his narrative, should leave the party.

Meanwhile, Mengal said they had certainly had political differences with Zehri who turned those into a tribal dispute.

He admitted that he had presented his reservations before the PML-N leadership before the Quetta rally as there was threat of a clash between his supporters and that of Zehri. Not inviting him to the rally was a PML-N decision, Mengal noted.

Given the standing and influence as well as the policy Mengal is following, the PML-N certainly opted for him instead of Zehri – a fact represented by the meeting he had with Maryam Nawaz at her Jati Umra residence after the PDM rally in Quetta. In fact, the narrative set by Nawaz makes him a natural ally of PML-N.   

Baloch was initially appointed as the acting provincial party president in April 2018 after the turmoil it faced in Balochistan first in the shape of removal of the Zehri government followed by the Senate polls results.