MULTAN-Senior politician Makhdoom Javed Hashmi declared on Wednesday to launch drive for the creation of South Punjab province, saying he would hold meeting with Saraiki parties and all other stakeholders very soon.

Addressing a news conference here at his residence, he suggested to Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif to set up a commission for the province. He said that the Janoobi Punjab Sooba Mahaaz people caused serious destruction by joining PTI. He said that he advocated the cause of a separate province for the last 30 years as it is a guarantee to country's stability. He said that Shehbaz Sharif rubbed salt to the wounds of the residents of South Punjab by tossing the idea of an administrative unit. "Whether Saraiki or South Punjab, it should be a full-fledge separate province and I announce a movement for the province," he declared. He said that Saraiki region is faced with deprivations, backwardness and poverty and keeping in view the prevailing situation he was determined to fight the war for a separate province and win it.

He lashed out at NAB and said that the image of the institution and its head had got seriously damaged. He maintained that the NAB levelled allegations of money laundering on a popular political leader without any evidence which tarnished the repute of the institution. "The Chairman NAB Justice (r) Javed Iqbal should resign from his office immediately. It is the only way he can restore his repute," he suggested.

Recalling the past, he claimed that when Nawaz Sharif and he met with Zardari to condole the death of Benazir Bhutto, Zardari sought support from Nawaz Sharif to end the politics of Ameen Faheem. "I disagreed on which Kh. Asif insulted me, though he regretted his act later on and said sorry to me," he added. He said that he had not received invitation for Nawaz Sharif's Multan public meeting so far but he prayed for its success. He said that he would definitely attend the jalsa, if invited by Nawaz Sharif. He said that Nawaz Sharif and his family were in trouble and he would stand by them in this crisis as he did in the past.

He said that he faced ruthless accountability process and he prayed for the long life of Chief Justice of Pakistan, health of his children and wellness of his son in law. He said that the Chief Justice had talked about the accountability of 35 persons but his name was not included in that list. He said that he faced five year imprisonment in Mehran Bank scandal and came out triumphant.

To a query, he said that there was no chance of Imran Khan becoming Prime Minister even in the far future. He said that Nawaz Sharif is his hero because he is fighting troubles bravely.

MANGO GROWERS FOR

WATER EMERGENCY

The Managing Committee of Mango Growers Cooperative Society Limited has showed serious concern on scarcity of irrigation water and demanded imposition of "Water Emergency" in the country.

The demand was raised by the members of the managing committee during its first ever meeting held here with the President Syed Zahid Hussain Gardezi in the Chair here on Wednesday.

The participants of the meeting asked the government to build water conserving Canals and Water Courses to minimize water losses. It demanded access to High Efficiency Irrigation system by growers with 20% burden to be shared by growers, Solar Tube-wells & electricity for Tube-well be promoted.

The meeting demanded a vigilant approach by Agriculture department in Research and Extension of Horticulture Sector and desired fully functional "AGRO CLINICS" having complete Laison with Mango Research Institute, Mango Research Station and even PARC be established in Mango Growing Tehsils under a Horticulturist as Agriculture Officer.

The participants of the meeting desired that Govt. should give incentive to industrial sector to promote value addition industry in Mango Growing Areas.

The meeting also demanded for earliest reconciliation and consensus to build Kalabagh Dam.

The members demanded that subsidy on Phosphatic & Potash fertilizers being given should be made easily receivable at the sale outlet instead of lengthy cumbersome procedures.

The meeting desired that Mango as a high value crop demands careful & fast track handling and harvesting for which Agriculture Machinery Research Institute (AMRI) should be propped up to meet the mechanization requirements of Mango Orchard as is being practiced World over.

The members of Mango Growers Cooperative Society Limited were of the view that Mango being a yearly crop Government of Punjab should provide Rs60,000 per annum interest free loans to mango orchard owners of 25 Acres & soft loan to Mango Grower of higher landholding. This is in practice by Punjab Government for field crops for both Rabi & Kharif seasons.

The meeting took stock of the current Mango Crop in Punjab and termed it better than last year especially in areas where growers vigilantly controlled pest infestation and addressed water issues.