QUETTA - Though the political temperature is continuously increasing in Federal capital and other provinces but no such any activity is evident on political scenario of Balochistan because of the situation that emerged during the tenure of former President Pervez Musharraf pushing the people in Baloch populated areas towards alienation.
Because of the grip of nationalist forces in the politics in Balochistan, people had always remained at forefront in political activities, even during the dictatorial regimes when there was no political activities in other provinces.
This is quite surprising that during the democratic government of PPP the political activities in Balochistan particularly in Baloch populated areas were cooled down after the statement of Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik regarding use of ‘stick’ some one and half month back and recovery of mutilated bodies started appearing from different areas.
Besides these factors, the cold weather is another factor that has marred political activities in Quetta.
However, the recent visit of PML-N President Mian Muhammad Sharif to Quetta created some waves in stagnant politics in Balochistan. There were basically two main objectives of visit of Mian Nawaz Sharif to Balochistan. The first one was to meet leaders of nationalist parties for bringing them back in mainstream politics, besides making effort to woo the political parties for a political alliance in coming days for launching a movement against the government. The second and important aspect of his visit was to participate in PML-N’s Provincial Council meeting.
Nawaz Sharif during his two-day visit met with leaders of National Party (NP) and Jamhoori Watan Party (JWP). During the meeting with NP leadership, at MPAs hostel, nationalist leaders expressed their grave concern over the situation of Balochistan particularly on the incidents of whisking away political workers and recovery of decomposed bodies.
NP leaders asked Mian Nawaz Sharif to utilise his political weightage for exerting pressure on establishment for paving way to solve the issue of Balochistan through dialogue.
The NP leadership said military action was the beginning of hatred but the recovery of decomposed bodies of Baloch missing persons has further increased the hatred.
After meeting NP leaders, PML-N President visited Bugti House where he met with JWP chief Nawabzada Talal Akbar Bugti. The JWP especially apprised Mian Nawaz Sharif about the situation in Dera Bugti.
Nawaz Sharif had to meet the Chairman of Pakhtun Khuwa Milli Awami Party (PKMAP) Mehmood Khan Achakzai but due to his visit to Kabul the meeting could not be held.
Similarly, the separate meeting of Mian Nawaz Sharif with the leadership of Balochistan National Party (BNP-Mengal) could also not be held.
However, leaders of PKMAP, BNP, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam–F, Jamaat-i-Islami, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (Ideological) and Hazara Democratic Party attended a dinner hosted by Nawaz Sharif.
On the occasion of dinner, Nawaz Sharif expressed his serious concern over the issues of Balochistan and announced a national conference in Islamabad on Balochistan issues.
Criticising, the PPP government he said it was the responsibility of the government to convene such a national conference on Balochistan but it did not fulfil its responsibilities.
Nawaz Sharif also met with PML-Q leader and senior most members of Balochistan Sheikh Jaffar Khan Mandokhel. The meeting of Mian Nawaz Sharif with Jaffar Khan was a message for latter and other Q-leaguers who are in position to win seats of national and provincial assemblies to rejoin PML-N.
However, only those PML-Q people would be allowed to rejoin the party who did not harm the party during the tenure of Pervez Musharraf and not used any negative language against PML-N leadership. It may be mentioned here that 18 members of Balochistan Assembly were elected on the ticket of PML-Q in 2008 general elections. Some political analysts of Balochistan are terming these steps and announcements of Nawaz Sharif a good effort for the improvement of the situation in Balochistan.
However, he could not succeed to remove the differences in his own party in Balochistan. PML-N Balochistan has been facing serious differences within the party for the past two years. ‘Those party leaders and workers who rendered sacrifices during the tenure of Musharraf and did not change loyalties are being neglected and preference is being given to turncoats and new comers who are joining the party for personal gains’, said some of party workers, adding, that this was the main reason for differences within the party.
On the other hand, some other quarters of the party are of the view that giving priority to influential political and tribal elders was the compulsion of the party because without them the party could not come into power in Balochistan.
Some party leaders and workers observed ‘leadership of party talks about elections and democracy ,therefore, there should be elections in the party’. Due to these differences Nawabzada Jahngez Marri kept himself away from most of functions held in connection with visit of Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif.
A glance of these differences was also witnessed during the meeting of provincial council when Mian Nawaz Sharif announced the name of provincial President Sardar Sanaullah Zehri and General Secretary Naseebullah Bazai respectively for office of President and General Secretary respectively. There was a rumpus in the session when he announced these nominations. Some participants of meeting did not accept these decisions and started chanting slogans and demanded for elections. The senior leaders tried to control the situation but they could not succeed. Nawaz Sharif got angry and left the stage without delivering his speech.
However, later he addressed some of party workers in the lobby of hotel and said that he would call a meeting of provincial Presidents and General Secretaries in Raiwind and discuss with them the party affairs and situation of province in detail.
Nawaz Sharif is not only concerned over the situation of Balochistan but he is also worried over differences within the party in the province.
Nawaz is not in a position to take any practical steps for solution of problems of Balochistan because he is not in the government at the Centre but it is to be seen that how he would overcome the differences in the party in province.