Empowering southern Punjab, Bahawalpur
THIS is apropos of Kunwar Idris’s letter (Feb 12). I would like to say that we must understand the urgency of the people of southern Punjab and Bahawalpur.
The issue is not of local councils, but of the empowerment of people, giving them their resources. Today, Lahore district alone has 33 universities while the entire South Punjab has only two universities. Today, Bahawalpur division, which was one of the richest states of India, has been converted into one of the most backward areas of Punjab.
Bahawalpur division contributes Rs120 billion to the provincial treasury annually, and money spent on Bahawalpur division during the last four years, in the words of the chief minister, was Rs20 billion.
Can local councils ensure the exclusive rights of locals on medical college seats? Can local councils give us the Bahawalpur Public Service Commission? Can local councils give us share in the Federal Service?
People start commenting without taking into consideration the ground realities.
They don’t understand the perspective of others and start criticising. Projects like the Metro Bus and the Kalma Chowk politics of the Nawaz League are worth nothing.
The people of Bahawalpur are still waiting for the Father of the Nation’s promise of a separate provincial status. It is not written in some holy book that Punjab cannot be divided. It is a province that holds 62 per cent of the population of Pakistan. It is bigger than 150 countries, and is a real threat to the country’s integrity, as it has become a symbol of oppression not only for other provinces but also for its residents.
There are many people who demand their historical, moral, legal and constitutional rights for the restoration of Bahawalpur as a pre-one unit part of the federation.
Dr JAAM IMRAAN
Rahim Yar Khan