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PESHAWAR, March 25: Provincial Minister for Information and Public Relations Mian Iftikhar Hussain on Sunday urged people of Hazara to adopt legal and constitutional means for accomplishing their demand of new province.

“Demand of a new province is the right of Hazarawal but they should adopt constitutional and legal way for it,” said the minister, claiming the ANP had achieved the goal of giving identity to the people of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa after 64-year-long peaceful struggle.

Addressing the oath-taking ceremony of the office-bearers of Havalian Press Club, the minister said ‘we have given identity to the people of this region by renaming the NWFP as Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and not creating any new province. He said renaming NWFP as KP had made no affect on the Hazara division.

Mr Iftikhar said Hazara was the only division of KP which was peaceful, however, he cautioned that some elements wanted to disturb this peaceful atmosphere for accomplishing their nefarious designs. The minister vowed not to let these elements materialise their ends as the people of Hazara had rejected these elements on a number of occasions in the past.

The information minister said that no decision regarding giving special grants to press clubs had been made. He announced construction of building of press clubs at Havalian and Abbottabad.

The minister urged media persons to spread the message of love and harmony and discourage elements creating hatred in the society.

He said the problems of Hazara division would be addressed on priority.

Meanwhile, chairing a meeting of the Journalist Welfare Committee here the other day the information minister said his government had increased endowment fund for journalists from Rs5 million to Rs15 million.

He also said the government would provide Rs10 million to Khyber Union of Journalists for health insurance scheme of journalists every year.

Information Secretary Azmat Hanif Orakzai, Director (Information) Shoaibuddin, Assistant Director (Journalistic Affairs), Zamir Gul Zahid, Peshawar Press Club President Saiful Islam Saifi and Khyber Union of Journalist President Arshad Aziz Malik attended the meeting.

The meeting also approved Rs15,000 each for four journalists for medical treatment.

The minister said over the last four years, his government spent millions of rupees on medical treatment of working journalist and their families, while owners of newspapers had also been contacted by it to persuade them to provide free medical facilities to its workers.

Mr Iftikhar said on the assurance of owners for health insurance, the government withdrew 16 per cent self tax on newspapers. He said some newspaper owners immediately honoured their promise but other didn’t.

He said those who didn’t honour their promise had once again been contacted and he hoped that they would implement the scheme for journalists.

The minister said steps taken by the government for welfare of journalists had no precedent. He said he himself visited all press clubs to learn about the problems of media persons.—APP/Bureau