Unity in division: Old campaigner for provinces demands 22

Eighty-year-old favours federating units on administrative basis.

Express August 19, 2011

KARACHI: Mirza Jawaz Baig, who has long campaigned for more provinces, demanded 22 of them on the basis of administration.

“I have been advocating 22 provinces as the number is viable,” he said at a press conference on Thursday at the press club. “If more than these are created, I would be even happier.” The unity of Pakistan lies in the division of its existing provinces into 22 purely and strictly on an administrative basis and not on a linguistic divide.

“I do not favour the division of existing federating units on a linguistic basis, as to me it is a sinister demand. Nowhere in the world were provinces carved out or created on the basis of the languages people speak.”

For Baig, the present democratic system is a “farce”, a “civil autocracy”. Democracy is a system to empower the people and in the present system of govenrment, whether it is commissionerate or local government, the essential element of empowering people at the ward level is missing, he said. A man from Thul should not need to come to Karachi for official work or employment; instead he should be provided with every assistance at his doorstep.

Turning to the events of the day, he said, what sort of country is this, where anyone can kill anybody without any reason and the government remains unmoved in the midst of gang wars and mafia killing rival gangsters.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 19th, 2011.