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Renaming to revitalise drive for separate provinces

By: Abrar Saeed | Published: April 12, 2010

ISLAMABAD – The controversy over the renaming of NWFP as Khyber Pakhtunk-hwa led to the demand of independent province by the people of Hazara Division, which was becoming source of inspiration for the people striving for separate provinces within the Federation.

Even the leaders like Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz Quaid Mian Nawaz Sharif saw justification in the demand of Hazara province and said in a press conference on the other day that in the given circumstances the demand of separate province by the Hazara people was not out of the place.

On the other hand the current move for a separate province by people of Hazara will give strength to the demand of people living in other parts of the country, who have been struggling to have their own provinces within the Federation for quite sometime.
The people living in Southern Punjab have been demanding a separate province since long and now the demand of the Hazara people will definitely give strength to them.
A source in the ruling coalition, terming the demand of a separate province on the ethnic and lingual basis as a dangerous trend, said that it would be detrimental for the strength of the Federation.

Some Pashtun leaders inspired by the demand of separate province by the Hazara people said that the creation of a province on ethnic and lingual basis would pave the way for their demand of carving out a province from Balochistan for the Pashtuns living in the province for centuries.

A political analyst said that this tendency should be discouraged, as it would ultimately pave the way for the disintegration of the country.

Recalling the alleged conspiracy of Jinnahpur by Muttahida Qoumi Movement (MQM), a political leader said that it would now seem justified in case the demand of Hazara people was accepted.

He further said that now MQM would be justified to demand a separate province comprising the urban centres of Sindh including Karachi and Hyderabad, mostly inhabited by Urdu speaking people.

The sources aware of the developments taking place following the triggering of riots in Hazara belt informed that the Government circles were quite perturbed over the volatile situation, which if not managed now, would spin into disarray triggering demand from the people living in other parts of the country to come up with similar demand to have provinces on the ethnic and lingual basis.

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