Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Chief Minister Ameer Haider Khan Hoti announced the creation of Abaseen division within the Hazara division on Saturday. He made it clear that his administrative order will come into effect following the completion of the national census, which is expected to be wrapped up by this year’s end.
The new division will consist of three districts of Battagram, Torghar and Kohistan. The first two districts have a Pashto speaking population in majority unlike Kohistan, where Kohistani is the mother tongue.
“Giving status of a division to these three under developed districts would certainly improve their living conditions and bring them at part with the developed ones,” he claimed.
The chief minister was speaking to participants of a public meeting arranged by former provincial minister Yousaf Khan Tarand, MPA Taj Muhammad Kham Tarand and former district mayor Attaullah Khan Tarand, who formally swore their allegiance to the Awami National Party, amidst cheers of hundreds of supporters.
The population of Hazara division has been deeply divided over the renaming of the province to Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, with the Hindko-speaking population feeling that the province has been given an ethno-centric name that excludes them. The creation of Abaseen division may help alleviate that alienation.
Speaking on the occasion, Hoti said K-P’s people had suffered colossally in the ‘imposed’ war against terror and that they courageously rendered sacrifices of hundreds of innocent civilians.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 19th, 2011.