AHMEDPUR EAST - The chairman of the Senate Functional Committee on. Problems of Less Developed Areas said the Balochistan National Party would oppose Prime Minister Gilani’s proposal to include Dera Ghazi Khan and Rajanpur districts in proposed Seraiki province.

He expressed these views at Sadiqgarh Palace Dera Nawab Sahib, the residence of Bahawalpur National Awami Party Chief Nawab Salahuddin Abbasi while responding to a question regarding the restoration of former provincial status of Bahawalpur. He said that during his visit to Cholistan, he observed that several areas of Bahawalpur were more backward than Balochistan areas. Earlier, he and other members of the Senate body namely Senator Nilofar Bakhtiar, Senator Dr Khalid Soomro and Senator Muhammad Ali Durrani visited historical Fort Derawar in Cholistan. They also visited royal graveyard of former Abbasi rulers of Bahawalpur State and offered fateha for the departed souls.

During the meeting, BNAP Chief Nawab Salahuddin Abbasi said that his grandfather Nawab Sir Sadiq Muhammad Khan Khamis Abbasi had deposited  a big chunk of gold in the Bank of England as a guarantee of Pakistani currency on the eve of existence of Pakistan and first of all merged his princely  Bahawalpur state in newly created country. But, he said, despite these sacrifices, 12.5 million people of Bahawalpur had been neglected by all the successive governments.

Abbasi said that the situation in Bahawalpur was deteriorating and warned that if appropriate steps were not taken, the consequences would be grave in future. “The time has come to address the grievances of Bahawalpur people by restoring the former Bahawalpur province,” he said and stressed the need for healing their wounds.

The BNAP chief informed the visiting senators about the high literacy rate during his grandfather’s rule. He said that late Maulana Mufti Mehmood and other leading Ulema got religious education from Jamia Abbasi Bahawalpur. Commenting on former Bahawalpur state’s high literacy rate, Senator Muhammad Ali Durrani said that his father late Ghualm Mohammad Durrani, a retired bureaucrat, got his higher education in Aligarh on sponsorship by former Bahawalpur State. Syed Mehmood Nawaz Gardezi revealed that his grandfather obtained degree in aeronautical engineering from Britain on the stipend given by former Bahawalpur government.