Uplift package soon to woo Hazara people

ISLAMABAD – An effort has been launched to evolve a comprehensive political and economic package for the people of Hazara to persuade them to give up demand for a separate province, sources informed on Sunday. Well-placed political sources informed TheNation that three major ruling parties including the PPP, PML-N and ANP held talks to collectively offer political and economic incentives for Hazara division in a bid to win their hearts and minds. The sources said that the move came after some of the political leaders had launched a campaign for separate Hazara province.
“It is a package of mix incentives being worked out jointly by the provincial governments of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab”, a PML-N, MP from Hazara informed TheNation.
He said that apart from political incentives that include creation of more districts and divisions, the two governments were working together to evolve a development package worth Rs 50 billion for the Hazara Division.
A PML-N leader, on condition of the anonymity, informed that the development package would include infrastructure projects mainly roads, tube wells for irrigation and a major canal link from Tarbela that would be used to irrigate lands in Haripur.
The package also includes allocation of funds for each district to be earmarked by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Government. The sources said that the contribution of Punjab Government was being worked out and might be announced in the upcoming budget.
Sources from PPP and ANP said that apart from the uplift package, the ANP-led coalition Government was actively considering creation of more district and divisions so that the people could be given political representation. “ This package includes creation of more seats for National Assembly as well as the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly”, the sources said.
The PML-N had to face humiliation at the gross-root level after the party leadership decided to support renaming of the NWFP as Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
“The Punjab Government is ready to share the burden”, a source said, adding that otherwise the PML-N would have to suffer huge political loss during the next general elections not only in Hazara but also in the province.

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