Musharraf kicks off campaign from Balochistan

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Islamabad, Sep 26: Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf, who is seeking re-election from the present Assemblies in the October 6 presidential polls, kicked off his formal election campaign from Balochistan.

Out of a total 61 Member of Provincial Assemblies (MPAs) 32 pledged support for Gen Musharraf.

The President held talks with MPAs of the PML-Q, BNP-Awami and the JWP at the Governor House yesterday and sought their support for his re-election. The PML-Q has 25 MPAs in the Balochistan Assembly, BNP-Awami has three seats while the opposition JWP has four seats.

Senators and Member of National Assemblies (MNAs) belonging to these parties were also present in the meeting. They assured their full support to President Musharraf in his re-election.

The MPAs of the coalition partner of the ruling Muslim League in Balochistan -- the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal -- which has 17 seats in the provincial assembly, neither attended the Iftar-dinner hosted by Governor Owais Ahmed Ghani in the honour of President Musharraf nor showed any interest in meeting the president, the News reported.

''..we did not go to the Governor House and told him that we will follow the decision of the MMA's high command,'' senior Minister Maulana Abdul Wasey said.

The paper also quoted sources as saying that nomination papers of the President would be filed by Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Muhammad Yousuf, who has proposed him as the PML candidate.

Gen Musharraf said over Rs 1.5 billion were being spent for the development of Balochistan, adding the province was lagging behind in development due to negligence shown in the past.

The government has initiated a series of mega development projects, including the Gwadar Deep Sea Port, 700-km-long Coastal Highway, 1,000-km-long Gwadar to Ratodero Road, water reservoirs, including Mirani and Sabakzai dams, besides the Kachi Canal project.

UNI

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