BAHAWALPUR - The restoration of Bahawalpur province is more important for people of the region than all political affiliations and if the national political parties want the people to maintain their association with them, they should not become a hurdle in legal and constitutional process for the restoration of the province.

Leader of Movement for Restoration of Bahawalpur Province Muhammad Ali Durrani stated this while addressing a press conference here on Friday. "The unanimous resolution of the Punjab Assembly is a pledge of all the national leaders with the people of Bahawalpur and they are legally and morally bound to honour it," he stressed.

The former federal minister regretted that the resolution was being politicised instead of upholding and honouring it. He opined that first an imbalanced commission was appointed mere to make it controversial.

"The commission, which was appointed on August 15, had to submit its report in 30 days but it could not frame its rules and regulations till date despite passage of one-and-a-half month," Durrani pointed out. "The difficult issues like the 18th to 21st amendment, formation of the Election Commission and caretaker government have unanimously been settled without any delay but the people of the region were being given lollypop of national commission, which was in fact disrespect of the Punjab Assembly and people of Bahawalpur," he remarked.

Durrani said that this was the province which boundaries were already marked and where the provincial assembly, civil secretariat, revenue board, public service commission, government printing press and other institutions had already been working. He said all the matters from water to financial affairs were settled and in fact it was the matter of the annulment of the Legal Framework Order of the martial law era of Yahya Khan. For this purpose, he added, after the adoption of a resolution by the provincial assembly unanimously, the Parliament had to pass a constitutional bill mere as a formality.

He that second Bahawalpur Conference under the auspices of the Bahawalpur Muttahida Mahaz [United Front], which was revived at Bahawalpur Conference at the Bhutta House on September 17, would be held at Ahmedpur East next week. He said that in the conference, the prevailing situation would be reviewed and future plan of action of the Movement for safeguarding restoration of the province would be chalked out.

"The property, which was owned by Bahawalpur in 1955, are now owned by the government. Now we will not allow sale of the property of Bahawalpur at throwaway price so this process should forthwith be halted. We had previously also challenged the sale process," Durrani said.

"The government property and rest houses in different districts of Bahawalpur sold for a paltry Rs60 million are now being sold for Rs800 million. The government has again announced the sale of all government property in Bahawalpur region but the sale of the government property in Rahim Yar Khan, Bahawalnagar and Bahawalpur is unacceptable to us," he emphasised.

Durrani said the people who would purchase the property would be held accountable and sale of the sale process would be deemed illegal and would be reclaimed after the restoration of the Bahawalpur province.

Speaking on the occasion, High Court Bar Association Bahawalpur President Muhammad Yahya Khan Baloch said that the sale of the property of Bahawalpur should forthwith be stopped because the region was already backward. He said that the government property was not being sold anywhere else except Bahawalpur and if the process was not stopped, a legal action would be initiated.

Malik Habibullah Bhutta, Association of Traders President Syed Israr Shah, Makhdoom Nasir Bukhari, Mahmood Nawaz Gardezi, Shahid Hameed Rehmani, Qari Moonis Baloch, Muhammad Akram Ansari, Dr Aamir Islam, Mian Shamsur Rehman, Sheikh Tasnim, Malik Aqeelur Rehman and Jam Mahboob Lar Advocate were also present on the occasion.