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Nawab wants Bahawalpur to be separate province.

LAHORE -- The Nawab of Bahawalpur has demanded restoration of former princely state as a separate province before the incumbent government completes its tenure on May 31.

Addressing a press conference along with PML-Q Secretary General Tariq Bashir Cheema, Jamaati-i-Islami Punjab Chapter Head Wasim Akhtar, PML-Functional Punjab Chapter President Makhdoom Ashraf Iqbal and former minister Muhammad Ali Durrani here on Tuesday, Abbasi opposed the ideas of a separate province for whole South Punjab region.

'We do not want a separate province of South Punjab but instead want restoration Bhawalpur to its previous status.'

Abbasi who holds the title of the Nawab of Bahawalpur and heads National Awami warned to launch a movement in case his demand was not met in next four weeks. He said a sense of deprivation among people of Bhawalpur had long been prevailed as they had been neglected in all spheres of life including employment and development projects.

All leaders who flanked by him and belong to Bahawalpur region unanimously backed Abbasi call. They announced to organise rallies in Rahimyar Khan and Bahawalnagar on May 18 and May 25 respectively in support of their demand. They said they will remain un-deterred on their demand. No negotiations will be held on the restoration of the Bahawalpur province, they said.

They called for implementation on a resolution adopted by Punjab Assembly in favour of the restoration of Bahawalpur province. They said the people will oppose the PML-N candidates in the upcoming general elections if their demand was not fulfilled in present government tenure.

Bahawalpur was a princely state from 1802 to 1955 and was part of Punjab States Agency.

The Nawab of Bhawalpur Sadiq Muhammad in 1955 signed an accord with the then Governor-General Malik Ghulam Muhammad and acceded to Pakistan. He, however, maintained the ceremonial title as Nawab of Bhawalpur. The last ruling Nawab died in May 1966 in London ending his 59 year long reign.

Several members of the ruling PML-N parted ways with the party recently and formed a separate political alliance led by Balakh Sher Mazari for the formation of a separate province in South Punjab.

The opposition of proposed creation of South Punjab province which include areas of former princely state Bahawalpur by senior politicians seemed a serious blow to the demand of Mazari led 'Junubi Punjab Sooba Mahaz.'

Pakistan People's Party has already announced support of South Punjab while Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf backed the idea of formation of two provinces of Punjab on administrative basis.

The leaders said the people of Bahawalpur region will only vote for those candidates in next election who will support the call of Bahawalpur province.

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Publication:The Nation (Karachi, Pakistan)
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:May 3, 2018
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