Daily Times - Leading News Resource of Pakistan - ANALYSIS : Why Hazara province? — Azizullah Khan
Is there any valid administrative base for a Hazara province? My simple and plain answer is, no. Hazara is the eastern division of KP, consisting of Mansehra, Haripur and Abbottabad districts with Abbottabad as its headquarters. In June 2011, the ANP government established another division called Abaseen division consisting of Batgram, Kohistan (carved out of Hazara division) and Torgar districts (which was hitherto a tribal area). Abbottabad is 204 kilometres from Peshawar, which requires an approximate time of two hours and 32 minutes in a public vehicle to travel, while the southern districts of KP like Bannu (210 km from Peshawar), Lakki Marwat (207 km), D I Khan (303 km) and Tank (314 km) are comparatively further away from Peshawar but there is no movement for a separate province in these districts. If the PML-N and the PML-Q or any other party (the MQM or JUI-F), which also sometimes raise the issue of a Hazara province, believe that the creation of a Hazara province is administratively justified, they should press for the creation of a province on every circle of 204 km diameter. Go on this criterion and you have almost three dozen provinces. Can our economy sustain that much expenditure, I ask the supporters of the Hazara province?
Till yesterday, the same PML-N was resisting provincial status to southern Punjab, whose every major city is farther than 204 km from Lahore. For instance, Rawalpindi is at 375 km distance from Lahore, Attock at 425 and Chakwal at 271. On the similar administrative basis would PML-N call for another province in Punjab that Makhdoom Javed Hashmi would name as Potohar province? Speaking administratively, Hazara is right under the belly of Peshawar from where it can be controlled effectively.
As far as political power sharing is concerned, the present day KP has been ruled twice by persons who hailed from Hazara division — Abdul Qayyum Khan in the 1950s and Sardar Mehtab Khan Abassi from 1997 to 1999. Hazaras have always enjoyed an equitable power share in the province.