SWABI, April 10: Chief of Pukhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party Mahmood Khan Achakzai has said that the controversial Kalabagh dam will never be accepted by his party “because it is an anti-Pukhtun project and would harm the people of small federating units for the progress of the big brother”. He was speaking at a public meeting at the Government High School Swabi on Sunday.

He said those championing the cause of Kalabagh dam would harm the unity of the country. To create problem for the people of smaller provinces in order to benefit the larger province “is against democratic norms”.

He said it was high time steps were taken to end the deprivation of the people of small federating units.

He demanded four per cent share for Pukhtuns in employment and other sectors and equal share in resources.

He said: “We do not want disintegration of the country. Rather, we work for its progress and prosperity but those who are usurping our rights would have to mend their ways.”

The Pukhtun regions are full of natural resources and the federal govern ment has been receiving millions of rupees from our territories. Despite this, the people of the regions have begging for their rights, he deplored.

“Punjab has been devouring the resources of Sindh, Balochistan and NWFP,” he claimed, and added that continued “usurpation of rights” would trigger violence and anarchy in the country.

Pakistan needs a real democracy where equal facilities to all federating units are provided without any discrimination, he said, adding that there was no justification that only one province ate all the resources.

The better option is that each federating unit should have control over its resources. “Sindh should have right over its Karachi port and petroleum; Balochistan over its gas and the NWFP over its water and electricity,” he said.

Mr Achakzai, who is also a central leader of the Pakistan Oppressed Nations Movement (PONM), said the countrywide strike on March 31 against unemployment, price-hike, lawlessness, operation in Wana and Balochistan “vindicated our stand that President Prevez Musharraf has no mandate to rule the country”.

He demanded that parliament should be allowed to become powerful and no more be left to act as a mere rubberstamp. He said despite the general election of 2002, parliament “has not been enjoying the real power and Gen Musharraf continues to call the shots. The elected members are at his mercy”.

Other leaders of PMAP said the exorbitant prices of eatable commodities, lawlessness, continued upward trend in poverty and unemployment were some of the major problems faced by the countrymen.