| Welcome to Global Village Space

Thursday, February 15, 2024

Will Akhtar Mengal’s BNP stay in working relationship with PTI?

In a latest development, a delegation of Balochistan National Party Mengal (BNP-M), government’s coalition partner, visited Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) senior leader Jahangir Tareen at his residence on Monday. In the meeting both leaderships exchanged views on the six-point agenda.

News Analysis |

Mengal’s six-point agenda includes recovery of missing persons, implementation of the National Action Plan, implementation of six percent quota for Balochistan in the federal government, immediate repatriation of Afghan refugees and the construction of dams in the province to resolve the acute water crisis.

Sources confirm that Tareen listened to the reservations of their ally and assured them of acceptance and implementation. BNP-M informed the PTI leadership that their agenda does not include anything which is personal rather they are demanding development for the people of Balochistan. “BNP-M joined the PTI’s coalition not because it wanted to get any ministries or anything else rather we joined PM Khan-led alliance with a hope to upgrade the rotten governance system in Balochistan to make it effective,” local media reported.

Balochistan is the richest province in terms of its resources but least developed when it comes to education and infrastructural development.

Earlier, BNP leader Abdul Rauf Mengal confirmed that the party was holding talks with the government and opposition parties for its demands.

Read more: CM Jam Kamal: A different politician from Baluchistan

PPP approaching BNP

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, chairman Pakistan People’s Party, has constituted a four members committee to win the support of Akhtar Mengal. The committee includes Nayyar Hussain Bokhari, Farhatullah Babar, Raja Pervez Ashraf and Khursheed Ahmed Shah, their task is to win Mengal’s support in order to convince him to vote against the government’s budget bill, media reports suggest.

The BNP-M and PPP have been allies in the general elections 2018 when PPP supported BNP’s candidates on NA-272 Lasbela-Gwadar and PB-51 Gwadar whereas, BNP backed PPP’s candidates on PB-39 and PB-50.

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, chairman Pakistan People’s Party, has constituted a four members committee to win the support of Akhtar Mengal.

The PPP is now certain to give a tough time to the incumbent since it failed to get any deal which might have helped Asif Ali Zardari to evade the ongoing accountability proceedings. Analysts believe that PPP now is likely to use all channels and urge the allies of PTI to revolt against the government.

Read more: Bilawal invites Maryam: will opposition’s Iftar diplomacy work?

BNP’s working relationship with PTI

The BNP has 4 seats in the National Assembly and nine in the Balochistan assembly. It established a working relationship with the PTI-led government and demanded the development of the province. Experts believe that PM Khan is committed to ensure the implementation of the six-point agenda signed with the BNP to lessen the anger of the people of Balochistan who have historically been ignored and exploited.

In a recent development, the Pakistan Armed forces voluntarily decided not increase the defence budget and according to the prime minister, this money shall be spent on the development of Balochistan and tribal areas of Pakistan.

Analysts believe that PPP now is likely to use all channels and urge the allies of PTI to revolt against the government. 

As per the commitment, several missing persons have returned back to their homes in just a few days. According to reports, Mehran Khyiazai, Abdul Karim Musazai from Saindak, Haji Ghulam Dastagir Mohammad Hasni from Dalbandin, Kabir Ahmed and Mohammad Ewaz Killi from Qadirabad Noshki, Abdul Samad Langove and Mohammad Ibrahim Kalat, Khalid Naveed from Mashkay and Khan Mohammad Bugti Kashangi from Noshki have safely returned to their families.

Read more: Can PPP convince Akhtar Mengal to go against government?

Under-development in Balochistan 

Balochistan is the richest province in terms of its resources but least developed when it comes to education and infrastructural development. There are experts and academics that attribute the state of underdevelopment of the province to the local political leadership which has traditionally been self-centred.

But politicians from Balochistan allege that the federal governments have never sincerely focused on the development of the province which resulted in the creation of ethnonationalism. There is an ongoing insurgency in Balochistan where India and Afghanistan are playing their role to exploit identity fault lines to urge the natives to stand up against Pakistan.

Read more: Akhtar Mengal: Baloch reformer or soft face for Baloch Militants?

Kulbushan Yadev, an Indian spy, has admitted that his role was to help out the separatists in Balochistan to destabilize Pakistan. Governments’ negligence to understand and address the problems of the common Baloch people help the separatists convince more and more people to get their support.

Dr. Rehana Saeed Hashmi, Associate Professor of Political Science at Punjab University, has argued in her research that the state of Pakistan needs to understand the nature of ethnic politics in the country where groups feel a sense of internal colonization. She further argues that if such ethnic movements are not addressed immediately foreign enemies hijack them and destabilize the country.