Balochistan National Party-Mengal (BNP-M) Chairman Akhtar Mengal on Sunday expressed his displeasure with the appointment of Senator Anwar-ul-Haq Kakar as the interim prime minister, claiming that such decisions created “more distance” between his party and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).
“You have nominated such a person as the caretaker prime minister whose appointment has closed the doors of politics for us,” Mengal stated in a letter to PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif.
He added: “Such decisions have created more distance between us and you.”
Kakar was named interim PM after the second round of consultations between Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Leader of the Opposition in the outgoing National Assembly Raja Riaz on August 12.
Kakar is a lawmaker belonging to Balochistan Awami Party (BAP), and the appointment of this relatively obscure politician from Balochistan surprised people, apparently including Mengal.
However, in his letter, Megal also expressed his displeasure with the way PML-N was preferring to ally with the army instead of taking politicians on board.
“A solution is being sought by consulting the establishment instead of politicians,” he wrote, adding that the “atrocities” of military-led regimes from General Ayub to General Musharraf were not yet forgotten.
He further accused the PML-N of “forgetting” the “conspiracies and unconstitutional” actions of the former military ruler and president general (retd) Pervez Musharraf and former chief of army staff General (retd) Qamar Javed Bajwa.
Just yesterday, the outgoing PM had expressed pride in being the apple of the establishment’s eye for the past 30 years.
Speaking during a farewell ceremony before the announcement about the country’s caretaker PM at the Prime Minister’s House, he remarked that a hybrid system that works for the country’s progress is better.
Moreover, Mengal also took issue with some decisions of the outgoing government.
He took issue with the fact that the Pak-China Gwadar University was being built in Lahore instead of Balochistan.
Punjab has no scarcity of educational institutions; however, being on the periphery, Balochistan’s several cities are in urgent need of better educational institutes, especially for higher education.
He wrote that renaming the Gwadar airport after Feroz Khan Noon — a former prime minister — was shocking as Balochistan’s population may not even be aware of his name.
He further contended that whereas in the last census, the population of Balochistan was about 2.24 million, in the most recent census — approved by the Council of Common Interest (CCI) and to be the basis of the upcoming elections — 7300,000 fewer people were recorded.
Mengal in his letter wrote that: “Not taking allies into confidence in important decisions will perpetuate mistrust.”
It must be noted, however, that other parties, too, have raised concerns about the latest census.