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zardari-magsi-meetingThe political crisis in Balochistan is likely to be over soon as the main parties having representation in the provincial assembly — Pakistan People’s Party, Pakistan Muslim League-Q and Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-F — have reached an understanding for a new set-up in the province.

Sources in the Presidency, where Balochistan Governor Zulfiqar Magsi met President Asif Ali Zardari on Thursday, said: “A new political set-up is likely to be installed in the province soon and it has been conveyed to the president.”

They said first governor’s rule would be lifted and then a session of the provincial assembly would be called to elect a new chief minister as Nawab Aslam Raisani had already resigned.

The sources said the new leader of the house would be decided by the PPP, PML-Q and JUI-F. They said the PML-Q would most probably get the chief minister’s slot because the JUI-F had already decided to sit on opposition benches.

“We enjoy a majority of 21 members in a house of 65 and it is out right to have our own chief minister,” PML-Q information secretary Kamil Ali Agha said, adding that no government could be formed in the province without consent of the Q-League.

According to the official website of the Balochistan Assembly, the PML-Q has 19 members, PPP 15, JUI-F 10, independents eight, Balochistan National Party-Awami seven and Awami National Party three.

The PML-N, JUI-I and National Party have one member each. Mr Agha said his party was in a position to nominate its own chief minister, but it had agreed on the name of PPP leader Aslam Raisani.

Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri, a leader of JUI-F who had held a meeting with President Zardari on Wednesday on the issue of a new political set-up in Balochistan, told Dawn that his party had decided to sit on opposition benches.

In reply to a question about the future caretaker set-up, he said it would also be decided in consultation with the main stakeholders.

“During my meeting with the President I have offered him to appoint anyone as new chief minister because the JUI-F will sit in the opposition,” Maulana Haideri said.

GOVERNOR’S MEETING: Governor Zulfiqar Magsi briefed President Zardari on the situation in Balochistan. He informed the President about the progress so far made in investigation into the recent Quetta blast and measures being taken to bring the culprits to justice.

The President stressed that every effort should be made to apprehend the culprits.  Mr Zardari reiterated that socio-economic uplift of the people of Balochistan and maintaining law and order were top priority of the government and it would continue to undertake every effort in this regard.

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