SADIQABAD - The formation of Saraiki province is the only way to mitigate grievances of the people of Saraiki belt, said Saraikistan Union President Ghulam Farid.

Speaking to mediamen at Sadiqabad Press Club here, he said that Pakistan was facing multiple challenges, and adding that political instability, economic depreciation, and water shortage topped the list of crises the country had been going through.

He maintained that the formation of South Punjab province will really catastrophic for the people dwelling in Saraiki belt for ages. "The only way to decrease their woes and recognize their identity is to form a Saraiki province in Punjab," he pointed out.

He said that the mandate which Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf [PTI] had secured in South Punjab was due to its first 100-day charter which assured the implementation of laws and steps vis-à-vis completion of public welfare projects. "If the party fails to implement the plans it had assured to do, it will face the same fate as other political parties did," he maintained. "The formation of South Punjab as a new province will be considered exploitation of the rights of the Saraiki community," he stated.

He vowed not to allow anyone exploit Saraikis, adding that those who attempted to disintegrate Saraiki belt had always bit the dust. He said that Saraiki had their own identity in society, and they would continue struggling for their own Saraiki province.

"The election of Usman Buzdar as Punjab chief minister wouldn't relief the people of South Punjab as he hadn't played any significant role for the uplift of his area during his tenure as DG Khan District Council chairman," he stated.

RESOLUTION OF KASHMIR ISSUE UNDERSCORED

The valley of Kashmir should be granted an autonomous status to ensure peace in the region, said a Pakistan People's Party [PPP] leader.

Addressing a public gathering here, PPP district vice president Mian Aziz Aslam Sheikh said that Prime Minister Imran Khan didn't touch the issue of Kashmir in his first address to the nation which was regrettable. "However, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi highlighted Kashmir issue and stressed a need for its immediate resolution for stability in the region," he stated. "Its time to see what the prime minister and foreign minister will do to deal with the burning issue," he said, and claiming that the PPP was a democratic party and wanted a resolution of Kashmir issue democratically.

Union Council [UC] chairmen Ch Shehzad Adil, Mian Hassan Anwar Sheikh, Sardar Ahmed Ali Bhutto and others were present on the occasion.