AHMEDPUR EAST - Nawab of Bahawalpur Salahuddin Abbasi on Thursday announced launching Bahawalpur Awami Party at a big public meeting held at his residence Sadiq Garh Palace Dera Nawab Sahib. More than 22,000 people including 8,000 women were seated in the lawns of historical Sadiq Garh Palace, spread over six acres of land while thousands of people could not enter the palace as the traffic remained jammed around the palace roads for more than three hours. Caravans from each corner of all the three districts of Rahim Yar Khan, Bahawalnagar and Bahawalpur had started arriving at Sadiq Garh Palace early in the morning while Nawab of Bahawalpur Salahuddin Abbasi unveiled Bahawalpur Declaration at 12:38am. He was the only speaker who spoke to the mammoth public meeting while former federal minister for information and broadcasting Senator Muhammad Ali Durrani, former minister of state Farooq Azam Malik, Jamaat-e-Islami Punjab Amir Dr Syed Waseem Akhter, former federal minister Syed Tasneem Nawaz Gardezi, Makhdoom Syed Ahmed Mehmood, Syeda Salma Gillani, PML-QA leader Syed Tabish Alvari, former chairman district council Bahawalnagar Mumtaz Ahmed Matyana, former Vice Chairman Col (r) Malik Ahmed Zia, former Deputy Speaker Punjab Assembly Sahibzada Mohammad Usman Abbasi, former Tehsil Nazim Liaquatpur Syed Masood Alam Shah, former Chairman Municipal Committee Ahmedpur East Mian Mohammad Ilyas Ayaz, former Chairman Town Committee Uch Sharif Makhdoom Syed Zafar Hassan Gillani, former leader of Opposition in District Council Bahawalpur Mian Rafiatur Rehman Rehmani, former PML-NMakhdoom Syed Ali Hassan Gillani, PPP leader Hassan Askari Sheikh besides thousands of activists of the PPP, the PML-N, the JI and both factions of JUI graced the splendid event. Two screens of 20X30 size were displayed in the Sadiq Garh Palace. Nawab Salahuddin Abbasi appeared on the stage at 11:50am and he delivered speech for more than 18 minutes in which he said the people of former Bahawalpur State have gathered for the first time in former Abbasides rulers Palace after 1875. Nawab Salahuddin Abbasi said that Bahawalpur is the soil of Sufis and Khawaja Ghulam Farid and inhabitants of the area are being deceived since the establishment of One Unit. He said that by the grace of Almighty Allah former provincial status of Bahawalpur would be restored which would change the destiny of 12.5 million people of Bahawalpur. He said that all old Serakis, Muhajirs and Abadgars were Bahawalpuris. He asked them to awake up and join their hands for the restoration of former Bahawalpur province just to secure the future of new generations. He alleged that the successive governments plundered the wealth of Bahawalpur, resulting in increasing the sense of deprivation among people of Bahawalpur division, adding that now the chapter should be closed and the practice should be shun. He pledged to resist anti-Bahawalpur policies and urged the masses to prepare themselves for his call to come on roads to get their genuine rights. Nawab Abbasi said that he only believes in Quid-e-Azam and Nawab Sadiq Mohammad Khan Abbasi-Pakistan and the accord struck between Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah and his grandfather Nawab Sir Sadiq Mohammad Khan Khamis Abbasi. The Amir of Bahawalpur told the big audience that he knows well that Bahawalpur province would not be restored by the parliament rather it would emerge from the streets and roads of Bahawalpur. He thanked the media, leaders of all political parties, women, youth and lawyers for extending unconditional support to him in the restoration of former provincial status of Bahawalpur. It is to be noted that District Bar Associations of Rahim Yar Khan, Bahawalnagar and Bahawalpur, Hight Court Bar Association Bahawalpur and Ahmedpur East Bar Association observed a complete strike to express their solidarity with Nawab Salahuddin Abbasi. Similarly, markets and bazaars of Ahmedpur East, Dera Nawab Sahib and Uch Sharif remained closed up to 2:00pm and large numbers of businessmen and traders attended Sadiq Garg Palace meeting which according to observers was the biggest ever in the history of Bahawalpur.