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Seraiki province demanded

April 03, 2013

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PESHAWAR, April 2: Pakistan Seraiki Party chief Taj Mohammad Langah has said that exploitation of smaller nations and their economic resources will continue unless the size of Punjab is controlled.

Speaking at a press conference at the press club on Friday, Mr Langah said the rulers from Punjab were responsible for the problems of Pakistan and stressed the need for the revival of the Seraiki province which was merged with Punjab in late 60s.

The PSP chief said Sindh, Balochistan and the NWFP had less number of seats in the National Assembly as compared to Punjab, which allowed Punjabi rulers to exploit others.

Before the creation of One-Unit, Seraiki people had their own province (Bahawalpur), which had its own railways when it was a princely state, he added. By merging Bahawalpur into Punjab, the Punjabi bureaucracy had deprived the Seraikis of their identity.

In 1969, he said, the Fazl-i-Akbar committee, which had been set up to assess the merits and demerits of One-Unit, had proposed creation of four or more provinces. However in 1970, Gen Yahya Khan dissolved the One-Unit and formed four provinces, he added.

Mr Langah said military officers had been given fertile lands of the Seraiki belt which was another injustice to the Seraiki people. After 1970, Seraiki politicians decided to launch their own party to get their political identity restored, he added.

The PSP chief said the impression that the 1973 Constitution was a unanimously accepted document or it protected the rights of smaller provinces was not correct. Nawab Khair Bakhsh Marri and Begum Jennifer Musa from Balochistan, Mian Mehmood Kasuri and Ahmed Raza Kasuri from Punjab, Arbab Sikandar Khalil from Pukhtoonkhawa, Abdul Hameed Jatoi and Ali Bakhsh Talpur from Sindh and Noor Mohammad Hashmi and Nizamuddin from the Seraiki belt had refused to sign the constitution.

“We want restoration of the 1973 Constitution with an amendment that gives separate identity to Seraikis as the fifth province of Pakistan,” he added.