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"Let there arise out of you a band of people inviting to all that is good enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong; they are the ones to attain felicity".
(surah Al-Imran,ayat-104)
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User Name: Ghayyur_Ayub
Full Name: Ghayyur Ayub
User since: 26/Jul/2007
No Of voices: 293
 
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More provinces in Pakistan

By

Dr Ghayur Ayub

.

The sad part of it is that our top politicians haven't learnt any lesson from the tragedy and keep strolling on the road which disintegrated the country in the first place. They ignore the genius principle of Mr. Jinnah who projected religion in the garb of nationalism or vice versa. They forget that Pakistan harbours many Muslim nationalities with strong cultural and customary differences. Such feelings are surfacing in the remaining Pakistan and the politicians are busy amassing personal wealth through corrupt practices and closing their eyes to the repeat of the history.

Recent history has shown resentment appearing among the public of smaller provinces after seeing the inequalities that have been committed by the political custodians of a large province. Luckily, it hasn’t reached a critical mass yet.  But if the self-centred political players didn’t realise this fact, soon the country will touch the critical mass and we will find ourselves in worse scenario than we were in early seventies.

The question is can it be prevented.

To answer that, we must revisit the principle followed by Mr. Jinnah by making more provinces based on ethnic nationalities without challenging country’s integrity, people’s religion and ongoing democracy.  Once these provinces are given self-governance, the burden will be shifted on to them and the age-old grievances will fade away in today’s cyber space world, where facts and figures cannot be hidden for too long. If the politicians want to see a progressive Pakistan, they must follow that principle and find that nine provinces can be carved out on ethnical statistics as follows:

1.       North Pashtunistan: to include the current KP and FATA excluding Hazara and Chitral, with the capital at Peshawar

2.       South Pashtunistan: to include majority Pashtun region of the current north Baluchistan with its capital at Quetta

3.       Chitral: to include current Chitral with its capital at Chitral City

4.       Hazara: to include current Hazara and Kohistan with its capital at Abbotabad.

5.       Gilgit-Baltistan: to include current Gilgit-Baltistan with its capital at Gilgit.

6.       North Punjab: to include all the current north Punjab excluding the Saraiki belt with its capital at Lahore

7.       South Punjab: to include all the current southern Saraiki Punjab with its capital at Multan

8.       Sindh: to include all the current Sindh with its capital at Karachi

9.       Baluchistan: to include all the non-Pashtun area of the current Baluchistan with its capital at Gawader

As such a change would need constitutional amendments, the entire political map has to be re-worked. Among other things, the provinces may be renamed as the autonomous states. Thus, Pakistan will be a federation of nine autonomous states with its federal capital at Islamabad

• Each state should be self-generating and disbursing its own revenues. The short falls will be compensated by the federation through decades-old NFC award and the 18th amendments.

• Each state will have its own assembly similar to what exists now in present provinces.

• The federation will be responsible for the national security of the entire country, the foreign policy, the education and health. It will also maintain a single currency.

The new Pakistan will erase the myth or reality that the biggest province has always deprived the smaller provinces of their rights and privileges as it controls the federal government because of the number of seats it holds in national assembly. This will also put an end to the discussion of independent Baluchistan or Pashtunistan especially emanating from the two neighbouring countries.

The Pashtuns of northern current Baluchistan will attain their identity as Pashtuns and not be confused with the Baluchis. At the same time, the Baluchis will not get confused by linking with Pashtuns as is done in present set-up of Baluchistan. Since Quetta is majority Pashtun it will go to South Pashtunistan. Baluchistan can move its capital to Gawader which has a tremendous future as a strategic and trade hub for all other federating states and the entire region.

The new Pakistan will nurture in trade, economics, inter-state political understanding and intra-state ethnic and cultural harmony. It all will be done in the domain of Islam and the requirements of democracy. This is just a food for thought.

The end 

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