Representatives of different political parties in Baluchistan have requested the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to redemarcate the PB-1 Musakhail-cum-Sherani provincial assembly constituency as the dispersed population and long distances prevented voters from to contribute to the national democratic process. .
Tribal chief and political leader Sardar Hanif Musakhail, while drawing attention to this public concern, said the constituency consisting of two districts of Musakhail and Sherani had a total of 104,815 registered voters, of whom 44,292 were women (42, 25% of total).
The tribal leader, who was accompanied by Abdul Samad Roshan, added that Musakhail was granted district status in 1992 and remained a separate constituency until the 2018 general elections.
The population of Musakhail district was 320,195 according to the 2017 population census and covered an area of 10,038 square kilometers.
He said the two districts are now administratively part of Loralai and Zhob Divisions, while due to dispersed population and lack of direct road connectivity between the two districts, many people have not been able to vote in elections.
Hanif, while urging the ECP, called for dividing the constituency to reduce the distance gap, connectivity problem and the burden on the local masses for their smooth and maximum contribution to the national electoral process.
He pointed out that the local people are now more aware of the past and that the majority of them want to play their part for the country and the strengthening of the democratic system.
He also called for ensuring the right to vote for those who migrated from the region due to the insurgency, loss of economic opportunities and political uncertainty and settled in Punjab and Sindh.
The Musakhail tribal leader also demanded to launch a voter registration campaign as a large number of the eligible population comprising mostly young people, especially girls, were not registered.
Musakhail and Sherani districts are considered to be the most backward districts in Balochistan.
Political and tribal elders expressed reservations and misgivings about the constituency.
They called for a new demarcation of the constituency to address the grievances of area residents.
In Baluchistan, constituency changes have created more questions than answers. The political parties urged the ECP to increase the number of constituencies bearing in mind the backwardness and dispersion of the population in the province.
The electoral commission had increased the number of provincial assembly seats in Quetta from six to nine. In Balochistan, the number of seats in the provincial general assembly is 51.
With additional APP input
Published in The Express Tribune, March 26and2022.