LAHORE – Former senator Mohammad Ali Durrani while claiming that President Asif Ali Zardari’s call for creation of Saraiki Province is a sheer violation of the Constitution, alleged that the President in joining a conspiracy being hatched by Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani to fuel lingual, racial and sectarian clashes in Southern Punjab.

He made this claim and allegation while addressing a press conference at Press Club on Monday. He claimed that South Punjab could become another target of violence after Layari, Quetta, Gilgit and Skurdu.  He appealed to Mian Nawaz Sharif, Maulana Fazlur Rehman, Hasil Bazinjo and others to play their democratic and constitutional role for thwarting the conspiracy being hatched by the PPP leadership to fuel lingual and racial hatred among people of Southern Punjab for petty political objectives.  Durrani demanded that a referendum, under Article 49 of the Constitution should be held to ascertain the views of people of Bahawalpur, while a resolution by him on the same subject was already pending with the Senate. Durrani also read out a statement of Salahuddin Abbasi, Nawab of Bahawalpur, who has said that the people of Bahawalpur were the custodian of agreements made between Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Founder of Pakistan, and Nawab Sadiq Muhammad Khan Abbasi and would continue the struggle until they succeded in gaining their objective. Durrani claimed that consensus regarding restoration of Bahawalpur province exists among the PML-N leader, JUI-F, nationalist leaders of Sindh and Balochistan and FATA and Hazara, as Nawaz Sharif and Maulana Fazlur Rehman support the demand of people of Bahawalpur. 

He said that the Senate Standing Committees, after examining the legal, historical record and agreements, fully endorsed the right of the people of Bahawalpur. He alleged that the failed Prime Minister, who was facing contempt charges in apex court, was now trying to take refuge in politics of lingual and racial hatred. Durrani said that federal government through 21st constitutional amendment was planning to impose its decision in a dictatorial fashion, which would be resisted by people of Bahawalpur.