Speaking against the creation of a Seraiki province, former information minister Senator Muhammad Ali Durrani said the prime minister is sparking anarchy by supporting a new province on a linguistic basis.
“The president should take notice of Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani’s actions to create unrest, only to make his son the chief minister,” said the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) senator at a press conference.
In March this year, the prime minister said the creation of a Seraiki province would be part of the Pakistan Peoples Party’s manifesto in the next elections.
The creation of a Seraiki province is a long standing demand of people of the area. Durrani said the prime minister should learn lessons from the situation prevailing in Karachi. “In an attempt to get political mileage, the premier may face irreparable loss to his political career,” he warned.
During the press conference, senators from Balochistan and the Fata announced their support to make Bahawalpur a province, demanding its status to be restored through executive order.
“Not only is there complete consensus on restoring the provincial status of Bahawalpur, the Senate Standing Committee on States and Frontier Regions (Safron) has endorsed the demand after going through historical records,” added Durrani.
He said making Bahawalpur a part of Seraiki province is against the wishes of the people of Bahawalpur and would be an autocratic step, not a democratic one.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 31th, 2011.