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Monday, March 24, 2014

PML-N vows to materialise dream of Hazara province

Sticking to their guns

HARIPUR:  Though the resolution for a separate Hazara province has divided opinion across the region, people from Hazara division have welcomed the step as a positive one.
Speaking to The Express Tribune on Sunday, former MNA Gohar Ayub Khan lauded the move and assured the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) to which he belongs will get the resolution approved from the Senate and Lower House.
To a question, he said the way the resolution was adopted did fulfill the requirements for the creation of a new province. He, however, claimed had Chief Minister (CM) Pervez Khattak voted in favour of it, it would have strengthened the case.
Gohar maintained those calling for the demand of Hazara province on linguistic grounds were actually throwing a spanner in the works as Tahirkhelis, Mashwanis, Jadoons, Tareens, Swati Khankhels and Dilazaks were all Pukthuns who had been living in Hazara for centuries. “Even if they have forgotten their mother tongue, their ethnicity as Pukhtuns remains unchanged,” he said.
He added the province was an administrative requirement and was a province till March 12, 1848 when Sikh Governor Sardar Chitar Singh surrendered before the British forces. He said during the era of Ahmed Shah Abdali, Hazara was called as Chach Hazara and then later named Hazara.
Gohar said after the Partition, India had nine provinces, while till last month it had 28. Now, he added, India added yet another province, with the smallest province having a population of 600,000. “The concept of small is beautiful is well accepted worldwide, so the creation of small administrative units is the need of the hour.”
Former CM and Provincial President of PML-N Pir Sabir Shah said his party had a clear stance on Hazara and would honour its promise. He said the province was the right of the people which was why they had incorporated the demand in their manifesto.
Replying to a query, he said the appointment of PML-N senior leader Mehtab Abbasi as the K-P governor has nothing to do with Hazara as a province, but he was bound to follow the party lines.
Celebrations abound
Workers of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), PML-N, Hazara Qaumi Mahaz, Tehrik Suba Hazara and its splinter group Suba Hazara came out on the streets and danced in jubilation. They congratulated each other and also distributed sweets.
“I do not foresee any hiccups in the way of the province’s creation as PML-N enjoys majority in the National Assembly,” claimed Liaqat Khan, a political analyst commenting on the situation. He lauded the role of PTI MPAs from Hazara but criticised the CM for his absence in the assembly session.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 24th, 2014.