–Yaqub Nasir likely to replace Baloch as PML-N provincial president
ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) suffered a major blow on Saturday when former federal minister and PML-N Balochistan chapter President Lt General (r) Abdul Qadir Baloch decided to resign from the party along with the former chief minister and Baloch tribal chieftain, Sardar Sanaullah Zehri, and several others.
The resignation comes amid reports of internal rifts with the PML-N after hard-hitting statements by party’s top leaders — Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz and Sardar Ayaz Sadiq — targeting the military establishment and the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).
Sources told Pakistan Today that Baloch was heading a meeting along with Zehri at his Karachi residence to take future decisions along with a powerful group of the party.
“Sources close to the PML-N leaders have divulged that Baloch and Zehri are likely to join the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) along with their group. They are likely to make a formal announcement in a press conference soon,” the source said, adding that Baloch is very close to Zehri whose provides the former with his main voter base.
“Since Zehri is chief of Jhalawan, his supporters are the backbone for General Qadir’s success in elections. Hence, both are set to part ways with the PML-N against the autocratic attitude of Maryam Nawaz who has preferred Akhtar Mengal over own party chief and chief minister. This has left the party’s senior leaders feeling that they should align their future with some other party,” sources added.
Baloch had decided to part ways with the PML-N after developing serious differences with Maryam, who had decided against inviting Zehri in the recent Quetta rally of the 11-party opposition alliance, Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM).
Zehri was not allowed to attend the party rally due to differences between him and Mengal, the leader of his own faction of Balochistan National Party-Mengal (BNP-M).
According to sources, former prime minister and PDM Secretary General Shahid Khaqan Abbasi had refused to invite Zehri to Quetta after consulting the party leadership, arguing that the Baloch politician has not been in the country for the last two and a half years, therefore, he could not be part of the meeting.
Another source told Pakistan Today that after Baloch’s decision to part ways with the party, Maryam has directed to appoint party’s senior leader Sardar Yaqub Khan Nasir in his place.
“The purpose of making Yaqub Nasir a provincial president is to make PML-N a dynamic and active party in Balochistan. Nasir would be tasked with making the opposition movement a success,” sources told.