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Ex-PM Nawaz Sharif bolsters political support in Pakistan’s southwest ahead of national polls

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In his inaugural visit to Balochistan, former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif rallied substantial political support within the province, a pivotal region marked by its significance in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Balochistan, abundant in resources yet grappling with poverty, has increasingly become a focal point in Pakistan’s political landscape due to its role in the CPEC project.

Sharif’s two-day tour aimed to bolster his party, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), by securing alliances with influential figures in Balochistan, including former Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan Aliyani and other prominent leaders. His party’s statement emphasized a commitment to ensuring Balochistan’s development, should they be granted the opportunity to govern the country once again.

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Political analysts perceive Sharif’s visit as a strategic move to enlist the support of influential politicians, known as “electables,” ahead of rival factions, particularly the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP). This endeavor aims to sway tribal and political leaders in Balochistan towards the PML-N, potentially countering the PPP’s previous momentum in the region.

Sharif’s discussions extended beyond mere visits, as his party explored potential alliances with various groups like the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP), Pashtunkhwa Milli Awami Party, and the National Party. These meetings centered around joint political ventures to address the nation’s challenges and foster provincial development and prosperity.

Notably, the National Party emphasized the importance of allowing the populace to elect their representatives, highlighting the significance of genuine democratic processes in addressing Balochistan’s issues.

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Overall, Sharif’s foray into Balochistan signals a strategic political maneuver aimed at consolidating support and alliances crucial for the PML-N’s prospects in the upcoming national elections.

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