BAHAWALPUR (Baqaul Mohsin and M Afzaal Hameed) - The Bahawalpur National Awami Party (BNAP) took out a rally from Jamia Masjid Al-Sadiq after Friday prayers against the proposed Bahawalpur Janoobi Punjab Province and to raise voice for the restoration of provincial status of Bahawalpur here on Friday.

The rally led by BNAP Chief Nawab Salahuddin Abbasi marched through different bazaars and reached Farid Gate where Nawab Salahuddin  addressed the participants.

Speaking on the occasion, the BNAP chief categorically declared that the Bahawalpur Janoobi Punjab (BJP) was not acceptable and reaffirmed his pledged to shed the last drop of his blood for the restoration of Bahawalpur province. The Muslim League-Nawaz and the People's Party are making fool of the masses on issue of new provinces and we will not tolerate any 'humour' or politicking on the restoration of Bahawalpur province," he warned and added that the People's Party did not honour the promise made by its slain chairperson Benazir Bhutto.

The Nawab of Bahawalpur said that the tsunami of people from Bahawalpur, Rahim Yar Khan to Bahawalnagar was testifying the fact that the Bahawalpur province would be restored soon. He recalled that under the reign of Bahawalpur State these had not been a single person founded starving and all and sundry had enjoyed exemplary education and Health facilities.

He said that three Nawabs had lost their live while serving the people of Bahawalpur - in 1866 Nawab Bahawal Khan IV, in 1899 Nawab Sadiq Muhammad Khan and in 1960 Nawab Bahawal Khan were murdered for serving the masses and safeguarding their rights, adding that now he was ready to sacrifice his life for the restoration of Bahawalpur province to ensure the masses rights.

Nawab Abbas declared that he did not scare of anyone except Allah Almighty and would give the people of Bahawalpur their right by restoring Bahawalpur province come what may. He pointed out that first the PML-N passed the resolution in the Punjab Assembly and then the PPP established the parliamentary commission but all of sudden both of the parties back tracked from their stance and promises. "Had the Nawaz-League's intention was right then they would have passed the resolution in National Assembly as well after getting passed the resolution from the Punjab Assembly," he questioned.

The BNAP chief declared that no one would be allowed to deprive the people of Bahawalpur region of their legitimate rights, nor to change the limits of Bahawalpur. Nawab Abbasi categorically declared that they would foil every attempt to include Bahawalpur in the proposed Bahawalpur South Punjab province and asked legislators from Bahawalpur to resist the government's move. He informed the participants that he had backed the PPP candidates in February 2008 general elections in region as the result of Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto commitment with him in London in 2007 that the PPP would restore the Bahawalpur province after coming into power.

But the party leadership did not honour the promise made by their cherished chairman," he added. He said that Abbasi Family had served the people of Bahawalpur for 350 years while governing the Bahawalpur State and how could the parties having a history of few years serve the people of the region.

Nawab Abbasi averred that there was a fire burning in the hearts of people Bahawalpur region which would not die until get the province restored.

In his speech, BNAP President Farooq Azam said that the decision of restoration of Bahawalpur province had been made and would be restored at any cost. "Some people have been propagating that Nawab Salahuddin Abbasi has sold the movement but they forget the fact neither ancestors of Nawab of Bahawalpur had ever made deals nor he will do so," he claimed.

He claimed that both Nawaz Sharif and Zardari had betrayed the people of Bahawalpur region. "First Zardari said that we will restore the province and Mian Nawaz Sharif said that we will pass the resolution but then the ran away from the commission and now when general elections are around the corner they started chanting again about the restoration of Bahawalpur," he alleged. He challenged that there was no one who could snatch the right of the people of the region. We were not permitted to organise the public gathering as the government is scared of a harmless person," he alleged, adding that his party was ready to contest the general elections vigorously.

Farooq Azam said that Zardari and Nawaz Sharif had a chance but they both lost it.