PML-N praised in Hazara for supporting demand for new provinces

Political observers say the move was necessary for any party which wants to retain its vote bank in the region.

Muhammad Sadaqat August 07, 2011


PML-N’s softening stance towards the proposal of carving out new provinces, including one in the Hazara region, earned local political leaders’ praises.

Terming the approach pragmatic and positive, they said it was aimed at winning back its previous political clout, which allowed it to bag a maximum number of National Assembly and provincial assembly seats.

PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif, who now publicly supports the idea of carving out new provinces, including one in southern Punjab and a Hazara province in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, recently formed a 15-member committee headed by Raja Zafarul Haq to weigh various proposals in this regards.

Commenting on the situation, Yousuf Ayub Khan, a former provincial minister and a leader of the Tehrik Suba Hazara (TSH), said that it was a political compulsion for the mainstream political parties to support the Hazara province if they wanted to keep their vote bank intact.

He said that his party would appreciate all parties which lent support to the call for a new province.

“The PML-N’s move is appreciable. This clearly demonstrates political maturity,” said Javed Qureshi, former general secretary of the local bar association.

Naseem Awan, the information secretary of the Hazara Qauma Mahaz, said that the people had demanded a new province after suffering at the hands of anti-Hazara elements for the past six decades, adding that the idea was gaining widespread support.

He said that the support of mainstream political parties, which initially was confined to just Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and the Pakistan Muslim League-Q (PML-Q), was now gaining momentum with the expression of support from the PML-N, which was at first antagonistic to the very idea.

Syed Waqar Shah, a leader of the Freedom Party who contested polls from NA-19, said that the ANP leadership should also support the demand for a Hazara province in a practical way, adding that there were two resolutions pending before the KPK assembly for the past year, adding that it was high time for them to mend fences with the people of Hazara.

On April 12 this year, the TSH in collaboration with the MQM, PML-Q, Jamaat-i-Islami, Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-F, Tehrik-e-Insaaf, Pakistan Awami Tehrik and Jamiat Ulema-i-Pakistan and regional groups like the Hazara Qaumi Mahaz, Hazara Awami Itehad and the Hazara Graduates, observed the first anniversary of the violent protests held in support of the demand for a new province in which at least seven people lost their lives in Abbottabad a year ago.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 7th, 2011.


Suhail Arshad | 10 years ago | Reply

Why is PML-N afraid of Seraiki? A Seraiki Province is not equivocal to “Azad Balochistan”. And Seraiki case is not equivalent to Mohajir (Seraikis are no migrants to Punjab). More than half of Punjab’s land is made up of Seraikis, then why is everyone denying their identity and right and mixing it with other issues of the country? Europe is formed on linguistic bases, all the indian states were formed on linguistic bases for better management (UP 200 Million, Goa 0.15 million). What PML-N has got in its mind? Now If making of new provinces is good in itself according to all political parties, including PML(N) , then why they are attaching the conditions that other provinces should also be divided in more provinces. Saraiki Province is a genuine demand as that area has been deprived from basic life necessities since PML-N is ruling Punjab. Rather than playing politics PML-N should respond to the genuine demand of people of Saraiki belt.

Abdur Rehman | 10 years ago | Reply

PML-N are hypocrites. They betrayed hazara while NWFP was being renamed. Nawaz Sharif first acts then thinks. He is out of hazara forever. He is indirectly responsible for the murder of our people. @Realist.:

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