Syed Muhammad Qaseem, News Desk:

QUETTA: The landscape of Balochistan’s political theater is set to witness a riveting clash as Sardar Abdul Rehman Khetran, a seasoned chieftain and former provincial minister, and his son, Sardarzada Inam Khetran, lock horns in the upcoming general elections for the PB-4 Barkhan Musakhail seat. This father-son duo, once aligned under the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP), now finds themselves on opposing sides, with Sardar Khetran choosing the Pakistan Muslim League (N) ticket, while his son, Sardarzada Inam Khetran, opts for the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).

Barkhan Campaign Drama: Father-Son Feud Takes Center Stage

Launching their respective campaigns in the underdeveloped district of Barkhan, situated in the remote North-Eastern reaches of Balochistan near the Punjab province, both candidates are gearing up for a battle that extends beyond party lines.

Sardar Abdul Rehman Khetran, a pivotal figure in the formation of BAP, made headlines this year with his departure from the party following the return of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to Pakistan from London. The political rift has added a layer of complexity to an already charged electoral atmosphere.

On the opposing side, Sardarzada Inam Khetran, while engaged in a fervent election campaign, has been vocal about his discontent with his father. Previous allegations leveled against Sardar Abdul Rehman Khetran, particularly during protests by Marri tribesmen in Quetta, have added a contentious element to the contest. The charges, related to the alleged involvement in the killings and abduction of Gran Naz and others, were vehemently denied by the senior Khetran and his party.

Electoral Dynamics in PB-4 Barkhan: A Complex Balancing Act with Seasoned Leaders

The dynamics of the race are further intensified with new delimitations, as Musakhail district now falls within the PB-4 Barkhan provincial assembly seat. Potential contenders include Maulvi Sarwar Nadeem of the Jamiat ul Ulema e Islam and Abdul Kareem Khetran from the National Party, adding layers of diversity to the electoral mix.

Notably, Sardar Abdul Rehman Khetran, elected as an MPA from Barkhan in 2018, seeks to reaffirm his political influence, while also navigating the shifting alliances within the province. As the Khetrans brace for this electoral clash, the overarching landscape of Balochistan’s politics is further punctuated by the participation of eight former chief ministers, including prominent figures such as Jam Kamal Khan, Nawab Muhammad Aslam Raisani, Sardar Saleh Bhootani, Jan Jamali, Nawab Sanaullah Zehri, and Mir Quddus Bizenjo. The convergence of such seasoned leaders promises an election season fraught with intrigue and significance for the future political trajectory of Balochistan.

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Quetta Voice is an English Daily covering all unfolding political, economic and social issues relating to Balochistan, Pakistan's largest province in terms of area. QV's main focus is on stories related to education, promotion of quality education and publishing reports about out of school children in the province. QV has also a vigilant eye on health, climate change and other key sectors.