The province movement: Hazara leaders to meet Sartaj Aziz today

Will inform foreign affairs adviser of fears of region’s merger with FATA


Muhammad Sadaqat January 13, 2016
PHOTO: FILE

MANSEHRA: All elected MNAs and MPAs from Hazara Division would call on the head of FATA Reforms Committee and Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz on Wednesday, Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Sardar Muhammad Yousaf told The Express Tribune. According to Yousaf, the delegation would share their apprehensions and recommendations with Aziz regarding the prospective change of the status of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) and its impacts on Hazara.

Headed by Yousaf, the delegation comprises seven MNAs and four senators from Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F). The meeting will be held today at Aziz’s office in Islamabad.

He said they would ask Aziz to keep in mind sacrifices the people of Hazara made for it to become a separate province if Fata is to become a province of its own.

“If the government is going to merge Fata into K-P, it must dispel apprehensions of elected parliamentarians from Hazara regarding the political and economic impacts of the decision,” said Yousaf.

“The parliamentarians of Hazara have no objection on the decision of the merger,” he said. However, they were afraid the decision would adversely impact the development, job quota of the constituencies of Hazara, Yousaf added. The federal minister made it clear parliamentarians from Hazara are not ready to share their funds with Fata if it is merged with K-P.

“If our apprehensions are not allayed, we would meet again and decide the course of action, which would involve meetings with the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and holding protests,” he said. However, he said, he has hope the federal government would not sacrifice the rights of the people from Hazara.

The delegation includes Sardar Muhammad Yousaf, Muhammad Safdar, Sarzamin Khan, Babar Nawaz and NA Deputy Speaker Murtaza Javed Abbasi. From PTI, there is Dr Muhammad Azhar Jadoon, from JUI-F, there is Qari Muhammad Yusuf. Among the senators is PTI’s Samina Abid, Azam Khan Swati while from PML-N, there is General (retd) Salahuddin Tirmizi and from JUI-F, there is Talha Mehmood.

Cleaving out Hazara

On January 2, elected representatives from across Hazara Division agreed on a roadmap to pursue the objective of making the region a separate province.

The road map, which includes taking the leadership of mainstream political parties and parliamentarians on board, was discussed at a closed room meeting at the Frontier House in Abbottabad. The road map includes taking the leadership of the mainstream political parties and parliamentary leaders on board before tabling the resolution to form Hazara province as they wish to get it approved with a consensus.

Present in the meeting were elected MNAs, MPAs and senators from Hazara belonging to Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, Qaumi Watan Party and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, among other parties.

Yousaf chaired the meeting and participants reflected upon the longstanding demand of a Hazara province. Representatives of the local government were also present.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 13th, 2016.

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