Old rivalries renewed as Balochistan heads for by-polls

October 12, 2018

The electoral fever is in full swing as Balochistan as candidates prepare to battle it out for its two constituencies; PB-35 (Mastung) and PS-40 (Khuzdar). 

The by-election will be held on October 14, Sunday.

The election in PB-35 was postponed after one of the contestants, Balochistan Awami Party’s Nawabzada Siraj Raisani, and 148 others were killed in a suicide bomb blast on July 13. The attacked was claimed by the Islamic State.

Related: Death toll in Mastung blast rises to 149

A tough competition is expected between Siraj Raisani’s elder brother and former Balochistan chief minister Nawab Aslam Raisani, an independent candidate, and BAP’s Sardar Noor Ahmed Bangulzai. Nawab Aslam is being supported by Balochistan National Party (Mengal), while Noor Ahmed is backed by Siraj Raisani’s son Nawabzada Jamaal Raisani.

Others contesting include PTI’s Faisal Dehwar and National Party’s Sardar Kamal Bangulzai.

The PB-40 Khuzdar seat was vacated by Sardar Akhtar Mengal after he opted to retain his National Assembly seat. The two main candidates contesting for the seat include BNP (Mengal) leader Mir Akbar Mengal, who also has the support of MMA, and Jhalawan Awami Panel’s Shafeequr Rehman Mengal.

Related: Attack on Akhtar Mengal’s Wadh residence foiled

On Wednesday, the security personnel outside BNP-M leader Sardar Akhtar Mengal’s house foiled an attack on his residence in Wadh district of Balochistan“There has been an unsuccessful attempt to attack the Mengal residence in Wadh,” Mengal tweeted. “Men tried to barge inside with grenades and weapons but were stopped by security.”

Mengal had alleged that Shafeequr Rehman was behind the attack.