Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Vice Chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi said on Monday that the party was cognizant of the grievances the people of south Punjab and would create a Seraiki province when it came to power.
Addressing a public meeting in UC-75, he said the PTI was committed to addressing discrimination in the region.
“The PTI will struggle for the rights of Seraiki people,” he said.
He said the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) had used the demand for a Seraiki province to garner votes.
“Before the election, they take up the issue to curry favour with voters,” he said. “After they are voted in, they have no plans to implement,” he said.
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He said the PML-N had broadened the debate on a south Punjab province by calling for a Bahawalpur province.
“This is an attempt to divide the Seraiki nationalists,” he said.
He said the PTI did not believe in ruling by dividing people.
“Genuine efforts will be made to address this demand [for south Punjab province] once the PTI comes to power,” he said.
Qureshi said the PTI was not an ordinary political party.
“The people of Pakistan have tested the PPP and the PML-N five times,” he said. “Each time they have been disappointed. Their voters now feel alienated. They have nothing new to offer the voters,” he said.
Both the parties had failed to provide relief to citizens. He said governments under these parties had not addressed the problems of peasants.
He said the south Punjab region played a key contribution in the agriculture sector but there was no policy to improve living standards of its people living here.
He said long hours of load shedding had destroyed businesses in the region. He said foreign investment in the region had been declined due to poor governance.
Read: Seraiki dilemma: the way forward
Qureshi said 1,400 people in Karachi had died but no one was willing to accept that negligence and poor governance had aggravated the crisis.
Qureshi said Pakistan Army had rendered immense sacrifices in the war on terror. He said the PTI would not tolerate criticism of the army.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 30th, 2015.