PPP’s Seraiki plan sorely needs PML-N support

Published: April 19, 2012

Bifurcation not possible without a two-thirds majority in Punjab Assembly. PHOTO: MUHAMMAD JAVED/EXPRESS/FILE

ISLAMABAD: 

The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), despite its continued call for the Seraiki province, has not yet sought the support of PML-N – without which the division of Punjab is unlikely.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz is the most powerful party in Punjab and the Seraiki province cannot come into being unless a resolution is passed by the Punjab Assembly with a two-thirds majority.

PML-N’s deputy secretary information Khurram Dastagir said, “the ruling party has never asked us for support. It is a slogan to entice the people of Southern Punjab since they (PPP) know the creation of the province is not feasible.”

He added that recent statements by President Asif Ali Zardari were a “reflection of cynical power play.”

The constitution states “a bill to amend the Constitution which would have the effect of altering the limits of a province shall not be presented to the President for assent unless it has been passed by the provincial assembly of that province by votes of not less than two-thirds of its total membership.”

Renowned lawyer Salman Akram Raja agrees that new provinces cannot be created unless the provincial assembly passes a resolution with a two-thirds majority. He, however, is of the opinion that the creation of new provinces should not necessarily be initiated by the provincial assembly.

“The process can also be initiated from the National Assembly,” Raja said while referring to Article 239 of the constitution. “The provincial assembly has to vote, but it is not specified whether that is done before or after the resolution is passed in the National Assembly,” Raja argued.

Senator Raza Rabbani, however, has snubbed even the idea of a ‘debate’ on the issue in the National Assembly, stating categorically that the exercise is unconstitutional. “[The resolution] can only be brought before the National Assembly once it is passed by the provincial assembly with a two-thirds majority.”

He is the only critic of his party’s approach towards the creation of new provinces.

Earlier in January, when the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) had demanded the creation of a Hazara province in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, religious affairs minister Khursheed Shah proposed that two bills (for Seraiki and Hazara provinces) be moved.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 19th, 2012. 

Reader Comments (14)

  • Junaid Atique
    Apr 19, 2012 - 9:40AM

    This is what PPP want. They want to show people of South Punjab that PMLN is not serious about there problems.. PPP has win win situation here…

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  • MAD
    Apr 19, 2012 - 9:49AM

    Divisions should be done on East/ West/ North/ South basis. otherwise you’re asking for trouble by naming provinces on ethnic basis. The names that existed SIndh, Punjab, Balochistan had done soe for many many years before this country came into being. Besides there is no such region known as Seraiki its a language.

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  • Maher
    Apr 19, 2012 - 10:04AM

    PPP & Nawaz are always with each other, Seriki province will get majority easily…

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  • Kaleem
    Apr 19, 2012 - 10:10AM

    Raza Rabbai is one of few leaders I still respect in PPP. That’s mature stance.

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  • ParvezM
    Apr 19, 2012 - 11:03AM

    PPP have any good plan, yes. Gilani Jr. for Chief minister.

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  • adeel
    Apr 19, 2012 - 11:05AM

    wev have our own customs we want our identity according to our language SERAIKI we are with PPP for making our identity this is good for all our poor people who are lack of each and every facility

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  • Abdul Moiz
    Apr 19, 2012 - 11:16AM

    The ppp should start with Sindh where they have the clear majority and make a Muhajir sooba first and then try to break up other provinces.

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  • Awais Ch
    Apr 19, 2012 - 11:26AM

    No more than “A CHEAP THRILL OF ATTRACTION”

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  • Hasan Nasir
    Apr 19, 2012 - 11:48AM

    Province on one language basis cannot help at all. It should be all about administration. PMLN stance is absolutely right while Imran is on the back foot and he will just criticize after its creation. If people have to divide on the basis of language then Punjab will be a new Karachi where language divide would be apparent and it could be a dangerous trend altogether. In future. Division on administration and on neutral name basis is all what Pakistan want.

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  • Angry
    Apr 19, 2012 - 11:49AM

    Everybody knows why Raza Rabbani opposes this move. Once you set a precedent, you know where will it end.
    And if the PPPP bypasses the provincial assembly, that will be death knell for the 18th amendment and the cherished provincial autonomy.

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  • Qaisrani
    Apr 19, 2012 - 1:13PM

    The people should notice anti PPP propaganda when it comes to Punjab.Intentionally or unintentionally people from upper Punjab hate PPP.
    Similalry checkout the comments section,you will find anti Saraiki diatribe.Why there are not many people to support the creation of Saraikistan??because poor Saraikis d’not have access to electronic media.They have been kept like so by “Takht e Lahore”.That’s why we want Saraikistan which is our right.
    @Pervez M.What is the problem if Gilani Junior becomes CM??Is it only divine will that Shehbaz Sharif will rule Punjab???

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  • Muhammad kashif
    Apr 19, 2012 - 5:26PM

    ppp Govt only making points in the country . Because it is her last time in Pakistan
    There are no any future leader in ppp
    Mian Shahbaz Sharif is nice man
    Khuda kary wo next prime minister of pakistan ho
    ameen

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  • akhroot
    Apr 19, 2012 - 11:51PM

    Pakistani provinces are already created on the basis of language so whats the harm in creating some more?

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  • May 3, 2012 - 6:28PM

    The idea needs some cool and clear headed thinking. It looks you can’t just create one new province out of Punjab.The other provinces will have to be divided too. Each province has sub groups which would demand autonomy.

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