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PM supports Hazara province

ISLAMABAD, Dec 19: Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Monday reiterated his government's support regarding the demand for creation of Hazara province and promised to take up the matter with the PPP's policy-making body besides taking other stakeholders into confidence.

The prime minister was talking to a delegation consisting of political leaders from Hazara led by PML-Q president Senator Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and his special assistant Syed Qasim Shah.

The movement for creation of Hazara province started after NWFP was renamed as Khyber Pakhtunkhwa under the 18th amendment.

The PML-Q leaders from Hazara, who are also members of 'Hazara Province Front' were given an assurance by the party leadership that the demand for creation of Hazara province was one of preconditions for their joining the coalition government. The constitutional position on creation of new provinces is subject to first passage of a resolution with two-third majority by the provincial assembly concerned which could then become binding on the parliament for legislation.

Members of the delegation, according to an official handout, said Hazara had been a province through the annals of history and acceptance of their demand would amount to rectifying the wrong done to the people of the region.

The prime minister said after discussing with the president he would refer the matter to the manifesto committee of the PPP to evolve a consensus as a first step. He said the matter would also be taken up within the PPP at a later stage.

The delegation also included Sardar Shahjahan Yousuf, minister of state for professional and technical training, MNA Amir Muqam, secretary general PML-Q Mushahid Hussain Syed, Gohar Ayub Khan, Sardar Mohammad Yousuf, Amanullah Khan Jadoon, Tariq Khan, Syed Mazhar Ali Shah, S.M. Yaqoob, Shahzada Gustasib Khan, Ijaz Durrani, Syed Chiraghuddin and Pir Fazl-i-Haq Kohistani.