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South Punjab: ‘Bahawalpur will resist Seraiki province’

LAHORE: Former minister Muhammad Ali Durrani has warned the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) against pressing for the creation of a Seraiki province, saying the move would be resisted by the people of Bahawalpur, who wanted a separate province of their own.

Addressing a press conference at the Lahore Press Club, Durrani said that President Asif Zardari’s announcement regarding a Seraiki province was a clear violation of the Constitution.

Durrani said that the president represented the federation and should not spread “ethnic and linguistic hatred”. He said that Zardari and Prime Minister Yousaf Gilani were “conspiring” against southern Punjab, and their push for a Seraiki province would result in unrest.

During a recent trip to Multan, Zardari told businessmen that he would direct the government to set up a separate Seraiki province in southern Punjab before the general elections.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 17th, 2012.

Seraiki province a right for marginalised in south Punjab: Gilani

RAHIM YAR KHAN: Continuing his campaign for a Seraiki province in south Punjab, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani said that the people of south Punjab had a sense of deprivation for a long time and the only solution for it was a separate ‘Seraiki’ province for them.

“Marginalised areas have the right to have a separate province,” he asserted.

He paid tribute to Taj Mohammad Langa for the Saraeki province movement.

I will continue the mission of Bhuttos: Gilani

Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani said on Saturday that he would continue the mission of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto despite all challenges and obstacles.

“If I abandon the PPP, President Zardari, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, and Benazir Bhutto then I am a pious man, otherwise a ‘traitor’,” he mocked, before adding, “but I will prefer death over compromising on principles.”

“I am being pressurised to betray the PPP, but I am loyal to the party because I am a custodian of the seat of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto and I can never do anything unconstitutional,” he said.

The Prime Minister was addressing a big public gathering after inaugurating the construction of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Bridge in Rajanpur.

The project, which will cost Rs 7 billion, and authorities are claiming to complete it in 10 weeks, if so, it will be a record for a project like this. The bridge will connect N-5 national highway with N-55 and reduce the distance between Rahim Yar Khan and Rajanpur by 150 kilometers.

Prime Minister Gilani said both Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto had laid down their lives for Pakistan and democracy.

A lot of conspiracies have been hatched to finish the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) but it always emerged as a popular and strong political party, he added.

“The people, who cannot face us in elections, are hatching conspiracies, but due to a vibrant media and civil society they cannot derail democracy,” he said.

The Prime Minister brushed aside the allegations of not respecting the institutions, asking that how could a party, which gave the 1973 Constitution to the country and then restored it, would not respect the institutions.

Series of development projects launched in Rahim Yar Khan

Prime Minister Gilani said the construction of Nishtar Ghat Bridge was a dream of Benazir Bhutto which he has now realised.

He also announced Rs 50 million as a first installment for Chachran Model City and Rs 100 million for Benazir Bhutto Shaheed Cadet College.

The Prime Minister said he has issued orders for issuance of the second installment of Watan Cards. He said that Rahim Yar Khan would also be getting an engineering university soon.

The Prime Minister on the occasion also announced restoration of 400 NCHD employees.

He also directed the National Highway Authority to pay compensation to those, whose land had been acquired for the construction of the bridge.

The Prime Minister also announced Rs one million for Khanpur Press Club and a water supply scheme for Feroza Town.

Regarding rising unemployment, he said that he has instructed the Finance Ministry to create 100,000 new jobs in the coming budget.

He also announced compensation for the victims of Khanpur bomb blast.

The Prime Minister also announced construction of a flyover in Rahim Yar Khan and said that gas projects in the area would be completed soon.

Gilani visits shrines of Khawaja Ghulam Fareed

Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani went to Kot Mithan in Rajanpur on the shrine of sufi Saint Khawaja Ghulam Fareed from Rahim Yar Khan. He paid homage to the sufi saint and his services and also offer prayers. Prime Minister ordered to give funds for the renovation of the mausoleum and also give orders to enhance the Khajwaj Ghulam Fareed library declaring it a great asset of the Seraiki region.

Talking to the current successor of the sufi saint, Khawaj Moinuddin Mehbob, he said that teachings of the saint has always saved the real image of Islam which believe in giving identity to all people and spending life with inter religious harmony and giving space to all people to practice their lives on their believes and faiths.

PML-N submits resolution for 4 new provinces

ISLAMABAD: After Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and its coalition partners passed a resolution for the formation of a south Punjab province, Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML) submitted a resolution for the formation of four new provinces in the country.

The resolution submitted in the National Assembly calls for the formation of Bahawalpur, FATA, south Punjab and Hazara provinces.

Earlier today, the National Assembly had successfully passed a resolution for the formation of a new province carved out of south Punjab.

Leader of the Opposition Chaudhry Nisar had complained that the speaker had taken up such an important matter without giving notice. He had claimed there was too much noise and questioned how the speaker determined who had voted in favour of the resolution and who had not.

Resolutions passed: South Punjab province, reposing confidence in Gilani

ISLAMABAD: Amid an intense protest by Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) lawmakers, the National Assembly on Thursday passed resolutions supporting the formation of a south Punjab province and reposing confidence in Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani.

Later during the day, the Upper House (Senate) also unanimously passed the resolution reflecting firm confidence in Gilani.

The resolution, expressing solidarity with the premier, was moved by Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Senator Jahangir Badar in the absence of PML-N members.

The National Assembly session, which was marred by sloganeering by PML-N members, was scheduled to begin at 10:30am but began at 12:22pm.

The resolutions were moved by Law Minister Farooq H Naek and were passed by the assembly. It has been reported that all members besides those from the PML-N voted in favour of the resolutions.

PML-N MNAs arrived in the assembly with placards and wearing black armbands to protest against Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani’s refusal to step down after he was convicted by the Supreme Court of Pakistan. One of the placards read “Seat khali hay, barayee farokht”.

Leader of the Opposition Chaudhry Nisar sat silently in the tenth row and did not take part in the protest.

The session was adjourned after the resolutions had been passed. The National Assembly session will resume at 10:00am on Friday.

Nisar, speaking to the media after the session, said that the speaker should preside over the session in a transparent manner.

He said last Friday, the speaker had let the prime minister quietly arrive and give a speech while PML-N members were away, and this time an important issue had been taken up without informing the members of the house.

Nisar questioned how the speaker had established that MNAs had voted in favour of the resolution, stating that it had been too noisy inside the House.

He said that PML-N was in favour of more provinces and had also announced support for a Bahawalpur province.

The PML-N has repeatedly called for Gilani to step down as prime minister since the Supreme Court of Pakistan convicted him in a contempt of court case after he refused to write a letter to Swiss authorities, asking that cases against President Asif Ali Zardari be reopened.

The largest opposition party – PML-N – has already announced it would continue to force the ruling PPP to nominate a new prime minister.

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