Baluchistan province elected a new chief minister amid turmoil

Vastavam web: Pakistan’s volatile Baluchistan province elected a new chief minister on Saturday, days after the previous leader was ousted in a blow to the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party ahead of the 2018 polls.Resource-rich Baluchistan is plagued by violence, perpetrated by both Islamist militants and nationalist insurgents fighting to keep a greater share of the revenues from gas and minerals in the province. Security has improved in recent years, though militants still carry out attacks.

The province also forms an important leg of the $57 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor of energy and infrastructure projects that China hopes to build as part of its belt and road initiative.The political crisis had been intensified by speculation, widely circulated in media, that elements of Pakistan’s powerful military were behind efforts to destabilise the region and possibly dissolve the assembly ahead of the senate elections due around March, and the general elections in mid-2018.

“This assembly will complete its constitutional term,” Bezenjo said after being sworn in. “And if somebody made any attempt (to dissolve the parliament) I will fully resist.”