MULTAN, June 2: The Pakistan Seraiki Party on Thursday observed the death anniversary of the last ruler, Nawab Muzaffar Khan, of the Multan province before annexation of the area with the Punjab in the wake of the Sikh invasion in 19th century. A demonstration was also organized by the PSP at the Multan Fort, which is now called Qasim Bagh Fort, where the Nawab had died along with his family while fighting against the forces of Ranjeet Singh. The demonstrators set ablaze an effigy of Ranjeet Singh.

They demanded a separate province, comprising Seraiki-speaking areas, saying the demand was based on historical facts. They said they were declaring a war against Ranjeet Singh and his successors on the eve of Nawab Muzaffar’s death anniversary to have a separate province.

They urged the rulers of the west and the east Punjab to come to the tomb of Nawab Muzaffar and seek apology for brutalizing the Seraiki since the Sikh invasion of the area.

“If the Queen of Great Britain can tender an apology for the Jalianwala massacre and the Pope for killing Jews then why can’t the Punjabi rulers for their tyrannical acts,” they wondered.

The Seraiki party believed that provincial autonomy now was the foremost political issue of the country, but its resolution would be useless without the creation of a Seraiki province.

Prominent among the demonstrators were PSP chief Taj Muhammad Langah, secretary-general Mansoor Karim Siyal, Sufi Taj Muhammad Gopang, Ahmad Nawaz Soomro and Mumtaz Khan Dahar.

They also demanded restoration of Seraiki language programme(s) on a local FM radio.