Zardari, Gilani poles apart on Seraiki province | Pakistan Today

Zardari, Gilani poles apart on Seraiki province

Despite hectic lobbying by Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, President Asif Ali Zardari is reluctant to support the Seraiki province move and rather approves the argument built by PML-Q President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain for naming the new province South Punjab, as well as the revival of provincial status for Bahawalpur – a demand strongly opposed by Gilani, Pakistan Today has reliably learnt.
Gilani has been advocating the creation of Seraiki province for the past six months. However, on the advice of the president, PPP MPAs in Punjab Assembly had supported a resolution seeking the creation of two provinces in Punjab, Bahawalpur and Southern Punjab. Later, President Zardari also sent a reference to the NA speaker on May 30 asking her to form a commission to oversee the matter of the creation of Multan and Bahawalpur provinces.
Despite the lapse of around 17 days, the speaker has not yet taken action on the reference. A well-placed source, requesting not to be named, said the prime minister had been making hectic efforts to convince Zardari to trash the idea of revival of Bahawalpur province and rather go for Seraiki province. “However, the president feels that the creation of Seraiki province would only serve the cause of PM Gilani in person, not the party, as Gilani has been championing the cause. The president has been advised not to go for Seraiki province that may damage the PPP’s vote bank in Bahawalpur, where a massive majority of Punjabi and Urdu-speaking settlers may take this move as a bid to marginalize their influence,” the source said.
The source added that Zardari had been informed by multiple sources that creation of Seraiki province may further deepen the lingual and cultural divide between locals and settlers across Bahawalpur division, who had been living in harmony for decades since partition. “However, the prime minister wants to emerge as a champion of rights of Seraiki people as he is facing a tough challenge from his opponent candidate in the next general election,” the source added.
He said the president, in a recent meeting with prime minister, had asked him to show the public support in Seraiki areas for creation of Seraiki province. “After a clear indication by the president, the prime minister had decided to launch a public mobilization campaign for Seraiki province and various party leaders and Seraiki nationalists had been tasked to mobilize public opinion,” the source said. PM’s elder son, Abdul Qadir Gilani, had been tasked with working in Rahim Yar Khan district to build public opinion for Seraiki province.
“The prime minister also summoned the party’s MNAs on Thursday at PM House and asked them to mobilize the public in their respective constituencies for support of Seraiki province to get maximum political mileage in the upcoming general election,” the source added.
“On the other hand, the prime minister has tasked Seraiki nationalist leader Barrister Taj Mohammad Khan Langah and asked him to mobilize public opinion for creation of Seraiki province,” the source added. Another source said Gilani had planned launching a long march for the creation of Seraiki province from Rahim Yar Khan and had sought support from Sindhi leaders Khursheed Shah and others, but his move was cut short by Zardari. Ali Qadir Gilani was mobilising resources to start a long march from Rahim Yar Khan, while Taj Langah was provided funds to muster support for the march from Multan, he said.
In this regard, Langah was in touch with pro-Seraiki poets, artists, thinkers and workers to get support for the planned long march. This move was aimed at attaining personal benefits and making his election campaign viable for upcoming polls, as Gilani faces a tough fight. However, President Zardari intervened and preempted this move by indicating avoiding confrontation with the PML-N leadership.
When contacted, Taj Langah confirmed that the prime minister had held a meeting with him last fortnight and has urged him to work for raising public opinion for creation of Seraiki province.
“I have already launched a mass contact campaign as asked by Gilani. I met the prime minister two weeks back and he had tasked me with building public opinion for Seraiki province. I am in Khanewal for a meeting today, while a public demonstration by women wing would be held tomorrow (Sunday) in Multan. Next week, demos would be held in Bahawalpur and Dera Ismail Khan (DIK),” he said.
Langah said he had also met Religious Affairs Minister Khursheed Shah who had told him that the president was supportive of Seraiki province and his public stance for creation of Multan and Bahawalpur provinces was just for public consumption.
He added that he and his colleagues had planned to hold at least two demonstrations for creation of Seraiki province in every tehsil.
“Actually, when we mobilize the public, a commission would be announced that would visit various areas to get public’s opinion about Seraiki or South Punjab province. The commission would also visit Bahawalpur to ascertain public support for Bahawalpur province,” he said, adding that he would make sure the commission decides in favour of Seraiki province rather than Bahawalpur or South Punjab.
“Our slogan is Bahawalpur Na Multan – Sooba Sirf Seraikistan and we are working to achieve this objective,” he added.

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  1. Patriot said:

    PPP is doing what ppp is good at doing. Divide up Pakistan is small pieces just like they did in 1971 and lost 1/2 of it. They are trying to do it again now with all this talk of a lot of smaller provinces. Pakistan is too big for them to tackle so they are trying to divide it into smaller pieces.

    • Iftikhar said:

      You Punjabies are afraid of giving Seraiki provincial autonomy becoz you want to continue your loot and plunder, but history is taking another turn and u r loser. You will be confined to your actual boundaries between Sahiwal and Gujrat, and Lahore to Sargodha. You also lost East Pakistan because of Punjabi colonial policies.

    • Iftikhar said:

      Why you Punjabies think that by liberating Seraiki people from clutches of Punjabi masters and giving them their own province would destroy Pakistan? Shameful thinking, but this thinking is doomed to fall.

  2. Wahab Tariq Butt said:

    making provinces needs time n money! Do that, but slowly n after discussions pak has other major problems now, such as loadshedding.. Pm focus on that plx!

  3. Hamid Khan said:

    Therec will no Pakistan on the map of the world. This country is going to die its natural death in too far in futire. No one can save Pakistan when they have chosen the path of self destruction.

    • Iftikhar said:

      Why you Punjabies think that by liberating Seraiki people from clutches of Punjabi masters and giving them their own province would destroy Pakistan? Shameful thinking, but this thinking is doomed to fall.

      • Hamid Khan said:

        How did you determine that I am punjabi? i am not punjabi. Now what other presumption will you make? People like you thrive on presumptions which has no reality. This is thinking of person who lives in a dysfunctional soceity. The truth is that Pakistan is in clutches of most corrupt crooks who are raping the country every single day. These crooks come from different provinces. If Pakistan is be saved, people must get rid of these monster and evils. This warth of GOD who is punishing the people for putting these crooks in to power. You should wake up and stop sleep walking. Another Advise, behave like a decent human being That is if you consider yourself human. By posting abuses you cannot win arguments

    • Grazar said:

      Hamid, lets not be so negative. Hope is a great thing & should be the last to die.

      As long as we Pakistanis are alive, we will fight to keep Pakistan for what it was made, for muslims & non muslims to be at peace with eachother & practice their religion in total freedom.

      I wonder whether its a good idea to totally remove all the borders and reset the provinces, some of each province in other provinces so all becomes one again.

      We are one & we will always have hope. Zardari, Gilani, Sharifs & Chaudury brothers will pay, in this world & in the hereafter.

      • Hamid Khan said:

        Frankly I am now losing faith in GOD. How can GOD punish poor and innocent people and not these corrupt crooks who rape the people every single day. How GOD lets then get way with all this. I pray to GOD to free people of Pakistan from Clutches of these monsters.

  4. hani said:

    zardari sb is good of favour of multan and bahawalpur provinces, people of of bahawalpur state will never allow to include them in saraiki province, if ppp can finish 15 milion bahawalpuries,then it is possible, we r ready to fight for our bahawalpur province with ppp, and if ppp oppose bahawalpur province, future politics of ppp ll end bahawalpur, and ppp will not be able to form a single province in south punjab, mr zardari it is better for u to go with two ethinic neutral provinces bahawalpur nd multan, otherwise it z nt possible to create a single province, and u multani will remain ghullam of lahore,and will get hatred from bahawalpuris as it z increasing day by day. bahawalpuries r just watching the situation, and we r ready for sacrifices, and to get our province, our calm iz not our weakness, we know how to deal with our oppostion, and whole pakistan will c the reaction from bahawalpuries, that cant be managed by govt, so be sensible and true pakistani, and full fill the promise made between quaid and nawab sb.

  5. Mussarrat Abbas Khan said:

    Yes yes there should be Saraiki Province because these people have been Deprived of their own rights for years..Saraiki Province wud be only option to empower the people of these area

  6. Nazir K Ali said:

    This game of politics is going more than a bit too far. Pakistan is Inshallah here to stay and we the people have to set our thinking right.
    Prioritizing education, zeroing or minimizing corruption, equitable and quick development of backward areas, Agriculture, services and real estate tax and ACCOUNTABILITY.
    New provinces must emerge without any racial content and for administrative purposes. Our ex PM wants to be an important man all the time; if not in Islamabad then in Multan. This move of Zardari is sensible but only Bahawalpur province should be delineated and another in the northern Punjab to be the Hazara province. Salams

  7. muhammad Wajid said:

    No roti,kapra aur Makan;They can give U Saraikistan~Elections are near;your demands R dear~and feudals will fool the people for 100 more years.

  8. Aisha Ali said:

    There should be certainly more functional administrative units as one gentleman once Jamal said on TV.Punjab,The existing provinces may be made up of West,South,East,North Punjab,Bolichistan,PKWA,Bolichistan;all in four units respectively under very well propounded by him;each unit be put under Lt Governate or Deputy Chief Minister .Why does not TV channels call him on TV and seek his view which seem in my estimation most pro Pakistan and pragmatic

  9. dar said:

    A non-issue has become a top issue. No Electricity; no jobs; no money and no security but let us all waste time arguing over a Seraiki province.

    The can of worms once opened, will not be easily closed again. Bhawalpur, Hazara, Khalat and Karachi all spring to mind. The PPP is upto its old tricks. Risk breaking Pakistan to hold onto/gain power

  10. Riaz Thekedar said:

    Make sarieki province and then what? What industry you have there, what financial and educational institutes are there. How it will be sustained? Money is required to do all and unfortunately we dont have it. In the end you will still look towards lahore.

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