ABBOTABAD: To mark their protest against the opposition of the MQM-sponsored 20th amendment bill which seeks provincial status for Hazara, political activists staged rallies suspending flow of traffic for about six hours in the district headquarters of three main cities of the division on Thursday.
Activists warned they would launch a civil disobedience movement if parliament failed to pass the bill proposing the creation of new provinces. They said they would ban the entry of the PML-N and ANP leadership in Hazara by sealing the entry point near Jhari Kas if they continued to oppose the amendment.
Speakers said the ANP was out to punish Hazarewals for their support for Pakistan during the referendum in 1947. They said when they took to the streets on April 12, 2010 to demand the creation of Hazara province, the ANP exhorted them to use constitutional means.
Chief of Tehreek Suba Hazara (TSH) Haider Zaman Khan said, “Now that the MQM has filed a constitutional amendment for new provinces, the ANP is opposing the creation of Hazara province.” He had earlier warned if the former NWFP was renamed in line with the ANP’s proposal according the creation of a separate province would be justified.
In Haripur district, MQM workers blocked GT Road near the main chowk for about an hour to demand the adoption of the 20th constitutional amendment which they believe would end Hazarewals’ deprivation.The call for the strike was given by Suba Hazara Tehrik, Hazara Qaumi Mahaz, TSH and the MQM. Hundreds of activists from Jamaat-e-Islami, JUI-F and PML-Q took out rallies and blocked the Karakoram Highway in Abbottabad in several places by parking heavy vehicles in the middle of the road and lighting bonfires.
The blockade remained in place from 10am to 4pm. Most passengers remained stuck in their vehicles during the protest, but quite a few walked two to three kilometres to catch buses and vans on the other side. – Thetribune