Seraiki province: Zardari orders Gilani to start consultations
15 April, 2012
MULTAN: President Asif Ali Zardari on Saturday called upon Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani to immediately start consultative process with all political parties to form Seraiki province in southern Punjab.
The president said this while meeting a delegation of People's Lawyer Forum in Multan. According to the president's spokesperson, Farhatullah Babar, the president told the delegation that the government wanted to respect and honour aspirations of the people of southern Punjab.
The president said the Pakistan People's Party had promised to give an identity to the people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and "we fulfilled our promise".
"Similarly, we gave rights to our Baloch brothers and the people of Gilgit-Baltistan. Now, we have promised the people of this belt to cater to their aspirations and we will do our best to honour our commitment." Zardari said the people of southern Punjab had every right to demand and have their own province, adding that the PPP leadership respected their wishes and aspirations.
He said that this was the right time to give what people had been asking for so long.
"If giving rights to people is a crime, we will continue to commit such crimes," the spokesperson quoted the president as saying. The president vowed to give rights to the people of southern Punjab during tenure of the present government.
He said Seraiki province was a question of Pakistan's future, adding that efforts should be undertaken to cater to the aspirations of people.
The president said Prime Minister Gilani was being targeted because of his support for Seraiki province.
Earlier, the president also had separate meetings with parliamentarians from southern Punjab and women office-bearers of the party.
The president also shielded the prime minister against increasing pressure on the latter due to his son's alleged involvement in a chemical import scandal, saying that Ali Musa Gilani was being falsely implicated in the case.
The president said he had come to Multan to express solidarity with Gilani. The president said that with completion of the government's tenure in sight, it was time to mobilise the PPP at all levels and to gear up for the elections which, he said, would be held on time.
Discussing development projects and welfare activities for people, Zardari asked parliamentarians to reach out to people and undertake all efforts to address their problems and issues on a priority basis. The president said the Benazir Income Support Programme was aimed at empowering women economically.