Who will be Next Quetta City Mayor?

Quetta – Dec 17, 2013 |

Local government election was held on 7thof December 2013 in Balochistan peacefully. All major political and religious parties took great interest in the election and Quetta, being a capital city of the province remained the centre of the political activities during the local government elections. Election commission of Pakistan has now formally announced the results of the 58 seats of the Metropolitan Cooperation, Quetta City.   Pashtoonkhwa MAP is reported to have won the majority seats, but needs support of other political parties and independent candidates to form a city government in the metropolis.

LG Elections


Meanwhile, other political parties and independent candidates under the leadership of PML (N) appear to be trying their best to form a city government in Quetta. Both parties seem to be in a tug of war to get the attention of the candidates for the position of city mayor. Different political tactics and gimmickry methods are reported to lure the candidates as the difference of the number game seems to have been reported very narrow.

Pashtoonkhwa MAP claims to have the support of at least 28 candidates while the same number is reported to have been claimed by PML (N).

Whatever the political parties claim, none of them have yet come up with the simple majority to form city government in the Metropolitan Cooperation, Quetta. Otherwise one of the groups would have come forward to the media and formally asked the higher authorities to summon the city government session.

The present results of the local government elections by many seem to have created a great deal of tension and confusion for the Balochistan Chief Minister Dr Abdul Malik. With two seats in hands, he literally doesn’t know who to support either Pashtoonkhwa MAP or PML (N), the situation he might never think of.

If he supports Pashtoonkhwa MAP, then his collision partners PML (N) in the provincial government will surely get upset, if he however supports PML (N), then he might lose Pashtoonkhwa MAP in the provincial government.  The local government elections are believed to have put Dr Malik in a very awkward political situation. He literally seems to have been stuck in nowhere political zone.

Some view that if Dr Malik supports Pashtoonkhwa MAP in city government, then it will likely send a negative political message to Baloch nationalists who later on will create political problems by blaming him for handing over all important slots to Pashtoonkhwa MAP in Balochistan.

In the meantime, provincial leaders of PML (N) and JUI (F) are also reported to have been extending pressure on Nawaz Sharif to support them in the city government. If federal government doesn’t come forward to support PML (N), many believe that the future politics of the PML (N) candidates will be a question mark. Therefore, the provincial party leaders are believed to have raised the issue very seriously and conveyed the party concerns to the high command.

After the general elections in May 2013, Pashtoonkhwa MAP emerged as a prominent political party in Balochistan and later on the party got Dr Malik elected as chief minister of the province. While supporting the provincial government, Pashtoonkhwa MAP got important ministerial slots in the cabinet and the party also succeeded in nominating the party member as Balochistan Governor. Since the party has strong share in the provincial affairs, certain quarters believe that other political parties be provided an opportunity to serve the province.

Being winner of the majority seats in the metropolis, Pashtoonkhwa MAP deserves right to form the city government but the system of the democracy unfortunately runs differently in Pakistan especially Balochistan.  Loads of other issues are taken into consideration by the ruling class before handing a set up to the political parties to govern in the province.

I, personally wish Pashtoonkhwa MAP to form the city government but the political environment regrettably seems going against the democratic rights of the party. The upcoming city government in Quetta appears to be a great challenge especially for Dr Malik to decide where to go. The coming weeks will decide the political status of the provincial government.  Wish him all the best.

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Muhammad Younas

The writer is an ESOL Teacher at Goodwin Community College in Hull. His blog can be found at http://myounas.com and can be contacted at toyounasat@yahoo.co.uk