President Asif Ali Zardari sent a reference to the National Assembly speaker late on Thursday night, calling for the formation of a commission regarding the carving out of two new provinces from Punjab.
The commission, which will have six senators, six MNAs and two members from the Punjab Assembly, will look into issues relating to the creation of the Multan and Bahawalpur provinces in Punjab and initiate the process of amendments in the Constitution for the purpose.
Presidential spokesperson Farhatullah Babar said that the commission will submit a report to the speaker and the prime minister within a month, which will then be followed by the process of Constitutional amendments.
He said that the reference draws the attention of the speaker to resolutions passed by the National and the Punjab assemblies calling for the creation of new provinces.
In the reference, the president stated that on May 3, 2012, the National Assembly had adopted a resolution in order to address the grievances and to secure the political, administrative and economic interests of the people of south Punjab.
While referring to the Punjab Assembly resolution, President Zardari recalled that the assembly also passed a similar resolution demanding parliament and the federal government to create a new province as well as revive the provincial status of Bahawalpur.
According to the reference, members of the commission will be nominated by the chairman and National Assembly speaker.
The commission will look into issues relating to fair distribution of economic and financial resources, demarcation, allocation/re-adjustment of seats in the National Assembly, Senate and the concerned provincial assembly.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 1st, 2012.