Fissures emerged within the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz over the party leadership’s strategy in the Senate polls on Friday after Balochistan Assembly Speaker Jan Muhammad Jamali announced plans to establish his own faction of the party.
Naming his faction as the PML-Balochistan, Jamali told a news conference that he enjoys the support of many PML-N and PML-Q leaders as well as veteran politicians of the province.
Jamali was accompanied by Balochistan National Party-Mengal’s (BNP-M) chief Sardar Akhtar Jan Mengal.
“The central leadership of the PML-N has to change its mindset towards Balochistan. We are not sheep or goats to be pushed around,” he said, adding that Balochistan is a tribal society and random decisions cannot be taken for it.
“From Sibi to Naseerabad, we have a dozen MPAs in the provincial assembly. But the PML-N central leadership did not give us a single ticket for the Senate elections,” he said.
Such a faulty strategy left the PML-N with three seats in the upper house instead of six. “Had the federal government supported us, we would have won six seats,” he said.
Jamali did not vote for his party’s candidates in Thursday’s Senate polls and fielded his daughter, Sana Jamali, as an independent candidate after the PML-N refused to give her a party ticket.
A central leader of the party, Khawaja Saad Rafique, who is the railways minister, made several attempts to persuade Jamali to withdraw his daughter from the race but all his efforts came to naught.
Jamali’s daughter, however, failed to get elected in Thursday’s polls.
“In reaction to the discriminatory attitude [of the PML-N central leadership], I fielded my daughter to contest the elections,” Jamali said, adding that he was thankful to MPAs Tariq Magsi and Ruqiya Hashmi as well as BNP-M, BNP-Awami and Awami National Party for voting for his daughter.
He said former Balochistan governor Nawab Zulfiqar Ali Magsi, Saeed Hashmi, Faiq Jamali and Tariq Magsi have also shown their support for his new faction.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 7th, 2015.