“We will not let any Gilani or Makhdoom determine the fate of Bahawalpur province,” Nawab Salahuddin Abbasi, leader of the Bahawalpur National Awami Party (BNAP), said on Tuesday. He was addressing a press conference at the house of party’s President Muhammad Farooq Azam Malik.
Abbasi said the BNAP had supported the PPP after late Benazir Bhutto promised to create a Bahawalpur province. He said now that the PPP had almost completed its tenure, it was backing out from the commitment. He said he had declined an offer to be made governor and change his stance.
The nawab said that Governor Makhdoom Ahmad Mehmood had made a two-and-a-half-month deal with the government and betrayed the people of Bahawalpur.
“We will not let them add Multan and Dera Ghazi Khan to the Bahawalpur province.”
The nawab said that the government could neither deceive the people of Bahawalpur nor force them to change their perspectives and compromise.
He said the BNAP will participate in the upcoming general elections.
He said the Sharif Brothers should live up to their commitment and play their role in the creation of the Bahawalpur province. He hoped that they would not betray the people as the PPP had.
The nawab claimed that before Mehmood, the PPP had offered him the Punjab governorship. But, he said, he had refused to make any deal that would require him to compromise the rights of the people of Bahawalpur.
He said his party’s demands were legitimate and that they would not stop until the Bahawalpur province was created. He said the party would also reject any changes made in the recommendations of the commission formed to creation new provinces.
The nawab announced that he will stand for two National Assembly seats from Bahawalpur and one from Rahim Yar Khan.
Former federal minister and BNAP President Muhammad Farooq Azam Malik said that the issue of creating the Bahawalpur province was completely different from the creation of other provinces.
“There is no problem with our boundaries and resources.
Mehmood’s father, Makhdoom Hassan Mahmood, had served as chief minister of Bahawalpur state before it was disbanded in 1956.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 23rd, 2013.