‘Magsi offers resignation’: Race for Balochistan governorship begins

Governor’s rule to be lifted before March 14.

Zahid Gishkori February 22, 2013
Governor Magsi, in a meeting with President Asif Ali Zardari, said on Friday he was no longer interested in ruling the province. PHOTO: EXPRESS/ BANARAS KHAN / FILE


The race for governorship of Balochistan seems to have kicked off after the incumbent governor of the volatile province informed the president he had lost the ‘moral authority’ to continue in office.

Governor Nawab Zulfiqar Magsi, in a meeting with President Asif Ali Zardari, said on Friday he was no longer interested in ruling the province.

“After this wake-up call, President Zardari made up his mind to appoint a new governor in Balochistan,” said a senior official of the Presidency. Next week is crucial, he added, as three stakeholders — the Pakistan Peoples Party, the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl — are set to hold a meeting to select the ‘right man’ for the job.

Several leaders, irrespective of their political affiliation, are floating names of several hopefuls for the slot.

Sources in the Presidency told The Express Tribune on Friday that Deputy Chairman Senate Sabir Baloch, Sardar Gul Jogezai, Ghaus Bux Barozai, MNA Usman Mengal, Balochistan minister Shah Nawaz Marri, Major (retd) Ashraf Nasir and Lt Gen (retd) Javed Ashraf Qazi are being considered as potential candidates.

The new governor will likely hail from the Pashtoon belt of the province, said PML-Q leader Jan Muhammad Jamali.

Nawab Magsi had offered his resignation in previous meetings with President Zardari and Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf due to the deteriorating law and order situation in the province but was asked to continue his job.

JUI-F leader Maulana Ghafoor Haidri, who met the president earlier this week, told The Express Tribune, “We will like to give our input on the selection of new governorship if the PPP requests it.”

Observer Muhammad Ali Talpur said, “The change in governorship in Balochistan is pointless as it is nothing more than a change of face. The real authority as always will remain with the army. Unless the nationalists who are fighting agree to make peace there will be no peace.”

Governor’s Rule to be revoked before March 14 Meanwhile, the government has decided to lift Governor’s Rule in Balochistan by appointing a new chief minister in the provincial assembly. Last month, the federal government imposed Governor’s Rule to meet a demand of the Shia Hazaras following a deadly attack on their community in Quetta that left over 100 people dead.

“Governor’s Rule in Balochistan will be revoked before March 14,” confirmed Law Minister Farooq H Naek while talking to reporters on Friday.

Under the law, an extension order of Governor’s Rule was needed after two months of its imposition from a joint session of Parliament. “We don’t have any intention of extending the order,” Naek said.

JUI-F leader Ghafoor Haideri also said that President Zardari assured him of the installation of a new political setup in Balochistan by next week. A session of the provincial assembly would be called to elect a new chief minister as former chief minister Nawab Aslam Raisani has already resigned.

To a question, Law Minister Naek said that establishing a caretaker government ahead of announcing national elections was a constitutional requirement. The government, he added, will enter into negotiations with opposition parties and the speaker of the National Assembly in this regard.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 23rd, 2013.


A J Khan | 8 years ago | Reply


There are big names in Hazaras who had contributed to the city of Quetta. It was only after the mushrooming of Militant organizations that Hazaras have been marginalized. Saradar Saadat, Mehdi Musa, Sardar Nisar are good enough name for the coveted post of Governor Balochistan.

A J Khan | 8 years ago | Reply

Incompetence is being hidden behind the allegations that authority rest with army. Both nationalist and religious leaders are incapable, illiterate and corrupt. Zulfiqar Magsi was one of the few exceptions and good choices. Tribal culture and religious cults are also a hurdle in bringing peace and development of province. Murky face of democracy in Pakistan based on one point agenda of - "Feed me more"

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