KARACHI - Announcing its participation in the next general elections, due in 2013, the Tehreek-e-Sooba Hazara on Sunday called on Yousuf Raza Gilani to step down as the country's premier "for closing eyes to the rights of the Hazarawal and other oppressed communities".

Speaking scathingly of the prime minister's objection to the formation of provinces other than a Seraiki one, TSH chief Baba Haider Zaman, while addressing a large gathering of the Hazarawal community at Bagh-e-Quaid, branded Gilani as "the prime minister of Multan" rather than the whole country.  "His statement favouring the formation of a Seraiki province alone reflects that only the Seraikis were dear to him (and not all the Pakistanis)," he said while adding, "We need a prime minister for the whole Pakistan."

Claiming that the TSH served as a platform for the people of Hazara to press for their demand for a separate province, Zaman announced that his party would be contesting the next general polls with "truck" as its election symbol. He, however, made clear that his party would continue its struggle until the creation of a province for the Hazarawal community.

Reports say that the public meeting was attended by thousands of Hazarawal, who were carrying TSH flags and placards inscribed with writings in favour of new provinces. "Survival of any country is not possible without giving the rights to its people. Likewise, stability in Pakistan is linked to the establishment of new provinces," asserted Zaman as he urged the govt to end the sense of deprivation in Hazara, Balochistan, southern Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh. The TSH chief, however, insinuated (that) no hopes could be pinned on the present rulers.

Applauding the MQM for its support and resolution for the creation of Hazara province, Zaman said the MQM proved that it was a national party. "We thank MQM chief Altaf Hussain for his support to our cause." Zaman exhorted the people of Hazara living in Karachi to maintain peace in the business hub city and work zealously for its development.