Punjab Assembly: Resolutions on South Punjab, Bahawalpur province today

Published: May 9, 2012

PML-N, PPP strategise, submit resolutions to PA secretariat.

LAHORE: 

The opposition in the Punjab Assembly, led by the Pakistan Peoples Party, has called for a session today (Wednesday) where a resolution pertaining to the creation of new provinces will be tabled.

Usually, the opposition benches as opposed to the government benches call for a Punjab Assembly session due to a poor law and order situation, wheat procurement issues or inflation. But the opposition has specifically called for a session demanding the formation of a South Punjab province.

Following the opposition’s move, Punjab Law Minister and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Rana Sanaullah submitted two resolutions on Tuesday to the provincial assembly speaker – one pertaining to the creation of a South Punjab province, and the other to the restoration of Bahawalpur province.

Last week, the PPP-led coalition government passed a resolution pertaining to the formation of South Punjab province in the National Assembly with a majority. Meanwhile, the PML-N submitted its resolution in the NA secretariat pertaining to the formation of four new provinces including South Punjab, Fata, Bahawalpur and Hazara. However, the PML-N’s resolution has not yet been entertained by the NA secretariat.

The opposition parties in the Punjab Assembly, PPP and Pakistan Muslim League Quaid (PML-Q) jointly submitted resolutions in the PA secretariat four days back following the NA resolution. PPP Deputy Parliamentary Leader in the PA Shaukat Mehmood Basra said that the opposition would force the speaker to entertain their resolution in the agenda of the session.

However, under Article 239, a resolution is not enough to allow for the alteration of provincial boundaries. A bill must be passed with a two-thirds majority in both houses of parliament. Once this is done, the bill must be sent to the provincial assembly which should once again endorse the amendment with a two-thirds majority of the house.  The bill is then sent to the president for his signature.

At present, the PPP led coalition government does not have a two-thirds majority in the NA for the passage of the bill, which is why it only passed a resolution from the NA, giving the impression that a resolution was enough for the prerogative to now lie in the hands of the provincial assembly.

PML-N countered PPP’s resolution by moving two resolutions itself to force the government on the back foot. According to a PML-N leader, by moving two resolutions in the PA, it would win votes in both South Punjab and Bahawalpur. PML-N would convey the message that the PA has passed the resolution, but the federal government remains reluctant to move the bill in Parliament.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 9th, 2012.

Reader Comments (7)

  • Albert
    May 9, 2012 - 9:59AM

    Restoration of Bahawalpur province is logical, correct n over due. However, its administration should be based upon qualified, educated, patriotic, honest local or people from other province not in the hands of local land lords (most of them treat their own people like cattle’s).

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  • Asif Saeed
    May 9, 2012 - 10:34AM

    Why has the pml-n surrendered so meekly? Doesn’t it see how ppp and the anp are fighting so aggressively against the Mohajir and Hazara provinces in their own provinces? Why has the pml-n given up without even trying to resist?

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  • Salim Bilal
    May 9, 2012 - 10:40AM

    The PML-N have proven to be extremely weak.They have been outplayed by the ppp in this game of making new provinces.The PPP has managed to force punjab to be divided but have prevented Sindh from being divided up.Genuine calls for making a new Mohajir sooba in sindh have been consistently ignored by the PPP,now that punjab will definitely be divided it is high time that a Mohajir province out of Sindh is also created.

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  • Sabih Shad
    May 9, 2012 - 11:22AM

    @Albert:
    If it;s going to be a province it’s administration should be elected from within. The people can decide if they want to be treated like cattle or otherwise

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  • Blithe
    May 9, 2012 - 12:50PM

    Dissapointed that these resolutions are being entertained.

    It will be like renaming NWFP to KPK –
    it’ll come back to haunt PML N

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  • PakLand
    May 9, 2012 - 11:30PM

    @Salim Bilal:

    The reason for a new province could be any but not because one province is divided due to the demand of the local minority(to run their own affairs from their resources). In Punjab the poor and left-behinds want to run their own affairs, that's actually good for richer north. But in the province of Sindh it's the Metropolis Karachi whose resources are need to run(67% of Pakistan's) 95% of rural Sindh budget..

    The rural Sindh can’t pay for their budget for the above reason. Now KPK changed the name of province to accommodate for only one race__ Pakhtoons and so sidelined Hazara and other minorities. Saraiki people faced a history of neglect by northern Punjab and was considered a burden and so ridiculed by them for all sorts of ills. So north & south Punjab will benefit from the separation but Sindh will definitely loose.

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  • shahid
    Jun 21, 2012 - 8:00PM

    hi
    being a resident of saraiki patti ahmed pur (Bahawalpur) I can clearly say there is no need to establish a new province at the whim of some landlords wishing to control the affairs of the territory as per their own desire and to manipulate the system in their favor.
    We cannot mix the desire of few with the the need of masses. They are just contributing efforts to break Pakistan.
    salam
    shahid saraiki

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