In an effort to renew the debate on a separate Hazara province, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) lawmakers from the region submitted a resolution in the provincial assembly secretariat.
PTI MPAs Qalandar Lodhi, Mushtaq Ahmad Ghani and Sardar Muhammad Idrees submitted the resolution on Friday, which seeks to separate the Hazara region from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) by amending the Constitution.
Ghani and Lodhi, who were elected as independent candidates from Abbottabad and later joined the PTI, are serving as advisors to the chief minister for food and higher education.
All three lawmakers are staunch supporters of a Hazara province and had remained active in rallies throughout the years.
“It is the fundamental right of the people of Hazara to have their own province,” the resolution stated. “We ask the federal government to amend the Constitution and add the word ‘Hazara’ after Sindh to create a Hazara Province.”
It is likely that the resolution will be tabled on the floor of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Assembly on September 10.
Earlier, Qaumi Watan Party (QWP) MPA from Hazara, Gohar Nawaz Khan, had also submitted a similar resolution in the provincial assembly secretariat. Khan, who also won the election as an independent candidate and later joined the QWP, promised his constituents to strive to bring Pukhtun- dominated areas, including the tribal regions and parts of Balochistan, under one administrative unit.
The resolution stated smaller administrative units should be made to empower people at grassroots level and improve governance. “It is the legal, constitutional, human and moral right of the people of Hazara region to have their own province.”
The issue came to the fore after the name of the North West Frontier Province was changed to Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa through a constitutional amendment. In reaction to the name change, people in the Hazara region initiated a popular movement called “Tehreek-e-Suba Hazara” led by Baba Haider Zaman. Since then, they have staged several mass gatherings and demonstrations.
The creation of the Hazara province also dominated the May 11 general elections in some constituencies in the region, where independent candidates were successful in winning popular vote and mandate over the issue.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 7th, 2013.
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