After passing a resolution in the Punjab Assembly, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) will now utilise all its resources to receive approval for the restoration of Bahawalpur province in the National Assembly, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said on Saturday.
Addressing a meeting of PML-N, Pakistan Muslim League-Functional (PML-F) and Bahawalpur Movement workers, at the local Circuit House, Shahbaz said that the request for the formation of a National Commission in the Punjab Assembly resolutions only applied to new provinces, not to Bahawalpur, which should have its provincial status ‘restored’. He said Bahawalpur was a different case and that PML-N would succeed in having this status restored “very soon”.
Shahbaz strongly condemned former president Yahya Khan over his decision in 1970 to deny Bahawalpur provincial status after the One Unit system was revised to incorporate four provinces.
He said that PML-N President Nawaz Sharif’s and the Punjab government’s contribution towards the uplift of Bahawalpur was an example of their commitment and sincerity, adding that a District Headquarters Hospital and various educational projects including the establishment of Daanish Schools were clear proof of the PML-N’s commitment.
The chief minister lashed out against the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), saying that the regime had ruined the national economy and had failed to deliver on all fronts, adding that this was “the right time” to stand up against incompetent and corrupt rulers for the national cause.
The chief minister also accused the PPP of trying to divide the country on a linguistic basis, while stating that the PML-N supported the formation of provinces on administrative, political, historical and geographical grounds.
PML-F’s Makhdoom Ahmed Mehmood and Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah were present also at the meeting.
Meanwhile, PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif addressed a rally in Khushab on Saturday, saying that the party had never indulged in corruption worth “even one rupee”. The rally was part of the opposition’s protest movement against the ruling government.
“Tell me, when Nawaz Sharif was the prime minister, was there any load-shedding for even an hour? This is the difference,” the party chief claimed.
WITH ADDITIONAL INPUT FROM NEWS DESK
Published in The Express Tribune, May 13th, 2012.
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