La­hore The Chal­lenge of Ur­ban Flood­ing

Southasia - - MALÉ - The writer is a jour­nal­ist and re­searcher based in Quetta.

from his con­stituency of PB-10 Dera Bugti to Gohram Bugti, the grand­son of Late Nawab Ak­bar Bugti. Sar­fraz Bugti was con­sid­ered a top stal­wart of BAP and his de­feat was a big set­back for the party. Like­wise, Saeed Hashmi the founder of BAP and Man­zoor Kakar, the Sec­re­tary-Gen­eral of BAP, also lost their seats from Quetta. Clearly, BAP could not achieve all the tar­gets for which it was cre­ated just two months be­fore the polls.

More­over, Mu­tahida Ma­jlis Amal (MMA) turned out to be the sec­ond largest party by se­cur­ing 9 seats in the Balochis­tan Assem­bly. MMA dom­i­nated the north­ern Pash­tun belt of Balochis­tan and some parts of Quetta and the Baloch belt as well. MMA Chief Maulana Fazal Ur Rehman an­nounced his party would not ac­cept the elec­tion re­sults all over the coun­try. He ig­nored the suc­cesses of his party in Balochis­tan where it also man­aged to bag 5 Na­tional Assem­bly seats.

Balochis­tan Na­tional Party (BNP) – Men­gal stood third af­ter the re­sult of the polls with 7 seats. BNP-Men­gal is a left-lean­ing Baloch na­tion­al­ist party and the last time it was in power was in 1998. For the first time in 20 years, the BNP-Men­gal had man­aged to se­cure a de­cent amount of seats. BNP-Men­gal was the only party in the cur­rent ar­range­ment which had not been in­volved in cor­rup­tion and bad gov­er­nance in re­cent times. As such, peo­ple hoped a lot from the party.

PTI’s suc­cess at the na­tional level also raised the stock of the PTI in Balochis­tan, which won 4 seats from the province. Po­lit­i­cal an­a­lysts fore­saw a coali­tion govern­ment in Balochis­tan com­pris­ing BAP, BNP-Men­gal, PTI and other smaller par­ties. MMAP, PML-N, and PKMAP were most likely to sit in the op­po­si­tion. The pic­ture needed to be more clear at the time of writ­ing this piece. Con­tenders for the Chief Min­is­ter’s post were Jam Ka­mal of BAP, Sar­dar Akhtar Men­gal of BNP-Men­gal and Sar­dar Yar Muham­mad Rind of PTI.

It was cer­tain that the over­whelm­ing ma­jor­ity of mem­bers of the next govern­ment would be the tra­di­tional politi­cians who had been win­ning seats for decades. These peo­ple had al­ways been in power; they just changed par­ties and the rest re­mained the same. In their dis­tricts, their fam­i­lies had been rul­ing like em­per­ors for decades and the out­come of the 2018 elec­tion would not change any­thing. Old faces in a new party can’t bring change in the lives of peo­ple of Balochis­tan.

Af­ter a loss of more than 250 lives in the Mas­tung blast, noth­ing was go­ing to change for the peo­ple. The bal­lot only changed the par­ties in power but not the tra­di­tional rul­ing force which had held power from the out­set. What this gen­er­ated was a very neg­a­tive sig­nal for the youth of Balochis­tan. It in­di­cated that they did not have to en­dan­ger their lives for a po­lit­i­cal process which would do noth­ing but re­in­force the sta­tus quo.

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