* NP chief vows to negotiate with estranged Baloch leaders
* Says govt will sit with local, world experts to prepare budget
QUETTA: National Party (NP) President Dr Abdul Malik Baloch has been elected as the chief minister of Balochistan unopposed after no other candidate submitted his nomination forms. The process of the submission of nomination papers continued from 10am to 2pm, but no candidate submitted his forms other than Dr Malik. The newly elected chief minister will take oath of his office at 6pm today (Sunday). Talking to the media after submitting his nomination forms, Dr Malik said that he would encourage the new generation of Balochistan to the course of education. Dr Malik was of the view that a strategy was already in place for negotiation with the separatist.
“We would speak to our estranged brothers to bring them on the negotiations table,” he said. He also stressed upon the political parties to come together to thrash out the problems of Balochistan, and expressed his optimism that the media would assist them in this regard and highlight their weaknesses. He said that he would make all possible efforts to bring to an end issues like the missing persons, targeted and sectarian killings and kidnappings for ransom. The newly elected chief minister seemed confident to end the 60-year-old sense of deprivation prevailing in Balochistan, saying that all three coalition partners would sit together to find out solutions to the issues confronted by the people of the province.
He further said that the government would sit with national and international experts to prepare the budget of the province, and added that they would neither get involved in any malpractice, nor would allow others to do so. He said that the formation of the cabinet would soon be finalised and senior people would be chosen for it. He was of the view that the slot of deputy speaker in Balochistan was given to the PML-Q by the PML-N, and that his party had no objections over it.
Earlier, Dr Malik also met with a delegation of JUI, led by Maulana Abdul Wasey, and asked for their support, upon which the JUI leader announced his unconditional support to the chief minister-elect.