BAHAWALPUR: ‘Election manifesto to include Bahawalpur’s separation’ .
The Bahawalpur National Awami Party (BNAP) and Pakistan Muslim League-Functional on Sunday announced they had entered into an alliance for the next general elections. The two parties will contest the election on a manifesto of seeking the restoration of Bahawalpur’s separation from the Punjab. This was stated by BNAP chief Nawab Salahuddin Abbasi and PML-F Punjab president Syed Ahmed Mehmood at a joint press conference at the latter’s Jamal Din Wali home in Sadiqabad.
They said the campaign for the election would start soon with public meetings in Rahim Yar Khan.
The two politicians criticised Pakistan Peoples Party and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz for what they called their duplicity on restoration of Bahawalpur’s status and creation of a Seraiki province. They said the two parties would never let the people of the region exercise their right to self determination within the federal framework.
They threatened the two parties with dire consequences if they tried to merge areas that were once part of the Bahawalpur state into a new province.
Salahuddin Abbasi said the movement for the restoration of Bahawalpur was part of his family’s history of serving the people of the region. “I am not leading the movement for an office in the government of Bahawalpur, when it’s declared a province,” he said. He thanked Makhdoom Ahmed Mehmood for inviting him to his residence and entering into an alliance with his party. Abbasi said the coalition between the two parties would strengthen the movement for the restoration of Bahawalpur’s status. He appealed to the people of the region including recent settlers to join his movement.
Makhdoom Ahmed Mehmood said he would raise the issue at all platforms available to him and support Abbasi in his struggle for the rights of the people of the region.
Farooq Azam Malik, former-MPA Syed Tablish Alvari, NPP senior vice president Mir Fazal Elahi Fazali, Makhdoom Syed Akbar Mehmood and BNAP leaders Mian Rafatur Rehman Rehmani and Mian Ilyas Ayaz were also present on the occasion.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 12th, 2012.
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