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|Date:||4/20/2010 1:36:09 AM|
|Message:||It is a fact that the interior of a mainland is generally neglected even as its resources are utilized for development of industrial areas in and around the major cities. For example, benefits worth tens of billions of rupees were derived annually from Sui gas for over 50 years from Balochistan, or to quote an example closer home, for over 35 years from the arid area that houses the Chashma Barrage. But the benefits were never shared with the local population. Besides this injustice, the government of Punjab uprooted thousands of landless tenants, small farmers and their families from ‘katcha’ of the Chashma Barrage area and did not rehabilitate them——just like affectees of the Mangla dam. Appeals to the concerned authorities of Punjab have proved futile, as always. Consequently, poverty, lack of essential facilities and sense of deprivation in the interior Punjab has resulted in lawlessness. There is also a demand for separate provinces which, in view of the massive migration of population to the slums of major cities, seems the only solution.
I support division of Punjab because it is too big and populous to care for the interior from Lahore. Three provinces with Rawalpindi, Lahore and Multan as their capitals is what we require now. Names and boundaries of these provinces can be decided through referendum. Rawalpindi province should comprise of districts between the rivers Jhelum and Sindh, with an option for the’ border districts to join the adjacent province.
Hazara may also like to consider in favour of joining the Rawalpindi province. Lahore province should comprise of districts East of the River Jhelum and North of the district Multan, with an option for border districts to join the adjacent province. Multan province should comprise of districts East, West and South of the district Multan, with an option for border districts to join the adjacent province. -ENGR M. AKRAM NIAZI, Rawalpindi, April 15.