Syed Ali Shah, Manan Mandokhail: 

QUETTA: The newly elected members of the Balochistan Assembly were sworn in on Wednesday evening. The maiden session of the provincial assembly began amid protests by Baloch and Pashtoon nationalist political parties against alleged poll rigging in the city.

57 MPAs Sworn In

A total of 57 out of 65 members took oath as MPAs. Zamarak Achakzai, the newly elected MPA from the Awami National Party (ANP), administered oaths to the new members of the assembly. Most of the lawmakers from the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League (N) were present in the house.

The visitors’ gallery was also jam-packed with guests and supporters of the MPAs-elect in the assembly. Prominent among those who were sworn in were Nawab Sanaullah Zehri, Mir Sadiq Umrani, Mir Zahoor Buledi of the PPP, Dr. Abdul Malik Baloch, the Chief of the National Party (NP), Nawab Muhammad Aslam Raisani, the lawmaker from the Jamiat ul Ulema e Islam (F), Maulana Hidayat ur Rehman, the Chief of the Haq Do Tehreek Gwadar, Engineer Abdul Majeed Badini of the Jamaat e Islami, and others.

Fateha Offered For Departed Souls Of Khanozai Bombing

The house also offered fateha for the departed souls in the Khanozai and Killa Saifullah bombings before the general elections. Asfandyar Khan Kakar of the PPP requested the chair to allow the house for fateha.

All roads leading to the Balochistan Assembly were closed for traffic by the police and district administration given protests and demonstrations. The four-party alliance comprising the Balochistan National Party (Mengal), Pashtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party (PKMAP), National Party (NP), and the Hazara Democratic Party (HDP) staged protest demonstrations in the city against the alleged poll rigging.

Nationalists Parties Reject Polls

“We reject these engineered elections,” Ghulam Nabi Marri of the BNP said. He said masses of Balochistan have rejected what they claimed as engineered elections.

The administration had taken strict security measures to avoid the occurrence of any untoward incident on the eve of the maiden session of the provincial assembly.

“People of the province would not accept these elections,” Qahar Wadan, the provincial chief of the PKMAP said. He said people have spoken and decided against these elections.

Captain (R) Khaliq Achakzai Potential Candidate For Speaker Of BA

The chair adjourned the session till February 29th and announced that the election for the slot of deputy speaker and speaker Balochistan Assembly would be held. PPP nominated Ghazala Gola for the slot of deputy speaker of the Balochistan Assembly, whereas, PML N is likely to nominate Captain (R) Khaliq Achakzai as the speaker of the Balochistan Assembly.

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About the Author

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.