Abdul Qadir Baloch
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Abdul Qadir Baloch (Urdu, Balochi: عبد القادر بلوچ), is a Pakistani politician, military strategist, retired army general, and a senior conservative figure who is currently serving as the Minister for States and Frontier Regions, appointed since 7 June 2013.
Prematurely receiving honorable discharge to retire as a Lieutenant-General in the Pakistan Army, Baloch also served as Martial Law Administrator first, before officially appointed as Governor of Balochistan, Pakistan. He holds a notable distinction of being the first Baloch army general in the Pakistan military. Though, he has written about national conservatism since 2003, he joined the Pakistan Muslim League (N) in 2010; and he was appointed as the Minister for States and Frontier Regions in 2013. In political circles, Baloch is considered a key adviser and confident of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
Career in the military
Born in Quetta, Balochistan, Baloch graduated from the Pakistan Military Academy in Kakul with a PMA Long Course. Upon graduating, he gained commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant in the Pakistan Army in 1966. Baloch also attended the Command and Staff College in Quetta, and attained MSc in Strategic studies from the National Defence University (NDU).
His career in the military progressed well and proved himself as a capable combat commander. In late 1990s, he was promoted to one-star assignment, and as Brigadier, he commanded the combat infantry brigade in Muzaffarabad in Azad Kashmir. Upon attaining two-star rank, Major-General Baloch commanded the combat infantry division based in Murree as its GOC and oversaw the troops positioned along the Line of Control in Azad Kashmir in 1999. In 2000, he reached to a three-star assignment and was eventually promoted as Lieutenant-General in the army. General Baloch holds the notable distinguish of being the first Baloch general in the army.
General Baloch was appointed as field operations commander of the XXX Corps where he oversaw the redeployment of the military troops near border with India. In the wake of the 9/11 attacks in the United States, Lieutenant General Baloch was relieved his command, instead he was assigned as field operations commander of the XII Corps which had the AOR of the Balochistan. By the time, he had become a field operations commander of the XII Corps, there were increased reports of border clashes with Afghanistan. In addition, General Baloch had approved then-Brigadier Raheel Sharif, who would later become chief of army staff in 2013, as chief of staff of the XII Corps.
Career in politics
In 2001, General Baloch was appointed as Martial Law Administrator of Balochistan. In 2003, he received honorable discharge from the army and prematurely retired from the military to be appointed as Governor of Balochistan. However, his tenure was short and was eventually succeeded by Owais Ahmed Ghani in matter of few months.
From 2003–09, he wrote extensively on national conservatism and appeared on country's news channels to speak on political affairs. He began his political campaign to highlight the human rights in Balochistan and several issues concerning the Balochistan conflict in the province of Balochistan. He began expressing his opposition to former President Pervez Musharraf and urging him to face the trial. Baloch reposed confidence in the leadership of Nawaz Sharif where he would eventually met with Sharif along with another Baloch figure Sanaullah Zehri.
Minister of States and Frontier Regions (2013-)
In 2013, the PML(N) allotted a party ticket to Baloch for the NA-271 to participated in general elections. Baloch performed well in the election and defeated Ahsanullah Raki of PPP. He secured ~7,714 votes, as the voting turnout was extremely low in this constituency.
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|Governor of Balochistan
1 February 2003 – 11 August 2003
Owais Ahmed Ghani