NA speaker forms commission to create new provinces

Published: August 17, 2012

12 members notified; two nominees from Punjab awaited.PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: 

The government took another step towards the formation of a new province on Thursday.

A commission for the creation of new provinces in Punjab was constituted by National Assembly Speaker Dr Fehmida Mirza – though only 12 of the 14 members of the commission have been notified. The two remaining names are still awaited from the Punjab Assembly, which has to nominate two provincial legislators to the commission.

A notification to this effect was issued by the National Assembly Secretariat.

The commission comprises Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Senators Farhatullah Babar and Syeda Sughra Imam, Awami National Party (ANP) Senator Haji Mohammad Adeel, Pakistan Muslim League-Q (PML-Q) Senators Kamil Ali Agha and Malik Muhammad Rafique Rajwana and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-F (JUI-F) Senator Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haidri. It also has MNAs Arif Aziz Sheikh, Jamshed Ahmed Dasti, Syed Ali Musa Gilani, Pakistan Muslim League-N’s (PML-N) Tahmina Daultana and Chaudhry Saud Majeed, as well as Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s Dr Farooq Sattar.

Mirza constituted the commission on the directives of President Asif Ali Zardari. Earlier, the National Assembly and Punjab Assembly had approved the resolutions for the establishment of new provinces in Punjab with an overwhelming majority.

While talking to The Express Tribune, ANP’s Haji Adeel welcomed the formation of the commission, but pointed out some queries regarding the constitutional and financial share of the new provinces, the timeframe and mandate given to the commission. Adeel said that from his understanding of the situation, the commission would be given 30 days to finalise its report regarding the new provinces. “It is nearly impossible to meet the deadline of 30 days, as it is not a simple task to accomplish. There are some extremely important factors involved that need to be discussed in detail, before conceiving new provinces in Punjab.”

Adeel also clarified that the commission’s workings would be confined to Punjab only and not work for the creation of a Hazara or Muhajir province, as no other provincial assembly had passed any resolution in favour of new provinces.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 17th, 2012.

Reader Comments (22)

  • Malik Muhammad Furqan Awan
    Aug 17, 2012 - 11:08AM

    Being a Punjabi , it is so sad to see that my Beautiful province is going to be Divided into two , someday soon due to Some Ethnic Disturbances and Clashes !

    Mr.President and Mr.Prime Minister , Have you ever gave a Thought on Giving Gilgit-Baltistan a Status of Province , or maybe Dividing Baluchistan for the Province Own Betterment and Stability or Making Gwadar a SUPREME hot spot for business ,as it has a strategic place which can be a much better Sea Port , way much better then any other Singapore Sea Ports or Indian Sea Ports.

    So Sad to hear,see and feel that Our Government Has Such Narrow Thinking ! just PUSHING the SWEET HOMELAND over the Cliff .

    Recommend

  • Qaisrani
    Aug 17, 2012 - 12:42PM

    freedom at last.Thanks to beloved president zardari.

    Recommend

  • SI
    Aug 17, 2012 - 1:10PM

    Nothing would be solved by dividing Punjab. Just more corruption and nepotism.

    Recommend

  • Rafaqat
    Aug 17, 2012 - 1:25PM

    @Qaisrani:

    Good for you. But before you celebrate, you should reflect on the consequences. We have industrial tigers like Faisalabad, Sialkot, gujranwala in northern Punjab. We have brilliant agricultural legacy of our own.

    What do you have in comparison ?

    Recommend

  • Truth Bites
    Aug 17, 2012 - 1:41PM

    I am not against new provinces, but I do not understand why people from other provinces are part of this division of Punjab? who gave them right to discuss and finalise division of Punjab. This is only trying to secure south punjab as PPP think they will never win in combined Punjab!

    Comission should discuss creating more administrative units across the country without singling out Punjab.

    Recommend

  • Blithe
    Aug 17, 2012 - 2:14PM

    It’s a federating unit .
    PML N will be destroyed if they allow a federating unit
    to be divided .

    PML N , wake up and smell the coffee .
    Yoû will be destroyed if you do not oppose this.

    Recommend

  • Absar
    Aug 17, 2012 - 2:23PM

    Why the politicians are dividing only Punjab? First movement for new province lifted from creating Hazara province, also some peoples claiming Pukhton province in Balochistan and also Muhajir Province so why only Punjab? am not against the idea of new provinces if it only for the solidification of Pakistan but unfortunately this government id doing it only for political motives. I bet nothing will be changed in new provinces for common peoples. Only politicians will get benefit from it. More provinces mean more bats (corrupt politicians) for sucking our remaining blood. I am worried that the new South Punjab province may become another Balochistan where sardars are only thing and common peoples are only their slaves. Also new provinces will also divide us more on different issues like water, gas, electricity and revenue.

    Recommend

  • Aug 17, 2012 - 2:50PM

    Why people like Farooq Sattar and Haji Adeel are in this commission? Punjab is relatively the best-governed province and they are dividing it. What about Sindh, KP and Balochistan? Why not divide them? Why not give Gilgit-Baltistan people their rights? I have relatives in Southern Punjab and none of them supports this idea. Even worst thing is that PPP & MQM are pushing for a single new province for Siraiki’s on ethnic basis. Look at the condition of areas where PPP have traditionally won seats; Interior Sindh, Balochistan & Southern Punjab. I’m not against creation on new provinces but it should be purely on management basis and Punjab should be the LAST option.

    Recommend

  • Aug 17, 2012 - 2:52PM

    @ Rafaqat, they have Makhdooms.

    Recommend

  • Zubair
    Aug 17, 2012 - 3:22PM

    @Qaiserani

    Im glad your so happy. I hope you being a settler work hard for Seraiki province and at par with real locals of the land.

    P.s: My land in ‘Tibi Qaiserani’ is doing good. Mash’Allah.

    Recommend

  • jibran
    Aug 17, 2012 - 3:26PM

    The more this person talks the more his hypocrisy and cunningness becomes evident.Recommend

  • Lala Gee
    Aug 17, 2012 - 3:35PM

    The day a party from Punjab will form government in Islamabad, their first job would be to form a commission for dividing other provinces on administrative basis, and I am sure Sindh would be the top priority. Anything good for Punjab must be good for others too.

    Recommend

  • Lala Gee
    Aug 17, 2012 - 3:42PM

    @Qaisrani:

    “freedom at last.Thanks to beloved president zardari.”

    Yes of course, first freedom from Balochistan, now freedom from Punjab, then freedom from Seraikistan, and eventually freedom from Pakistan. Perhaps this is what you are dreaming for. Be sure these will remain your dreams, though no restrictions on dreaming will be placed.

    Recommend

  • Aug 17, 2012 - 3:54PM

    Now that the “Commission for creating new provinces” has been formed, its scope should be widened to include the whole country. Can Pakistani people do some DEEP thinking and realize that other Muslim countries like Turkey with pop of 76mil has 81 provinces; Iran with pop of 75mil has 31; Afghanistan pop. 31mil has 34 provinces. How people in those countries, which by the way are mother countries of most of the Pakistani people, are allowed to have a province for each 1million or so people and Pakistanis are not allowed even a local govt. When slave and master mentality will finish in our country?

    Recommend

  • Nadeem
    Aug 17, 2012 - 6:48PM

    We love you Mr. Zardari. Whole Seariki Qoum is standing with youRecommend

  • Avatar
    Aug 17, 2012 - 6:54PM

    People of punjab get over it. Nothing will change when it comes to a normal civilians daily lives and its still gonna be the same country. Only the administration and local government will change and perform better. We should be worried about Baluchistan, not new provinces of the federation.

    Recommend

  • Ahmad
    Aug 17, 2012 - 6:58PM

    Another useless initiative with no direct benefits to normal public…

    Recommend

  • major-ji
    Aug 17, 2012 - 7:26PM

    @Rafaqat:
    Narrow minded mentality. Live up to modern world. Due to population outburst and on administrative grounds it is always good to have smaller units. New set up will soon start matching the older one. Do not worry my dear.

    Recommend

  • FADi
    Aug 17, 2012 - 7:51PM

    thats what i read when i was in school that divide and concur, they are going to divide the country on ethnicity not on administration basis, and this is what is triggering the violence between them. if we are talking about this division for the sake of saraiki people, what about the saraiki area that is part of sind Provence will it also become part of this division. such thing shows the hypocracy of our government. we have to look at the bigger image, last month people in Azad Kashmir demonstrated while saying freedom from Pakistan, people from Hazara (quetta’s hazara) same freedom from Pakistan, and Balochis aswell ..we should look at these bigger issues

    Recommend

  • Nadeem
    Aug 17, 2012 - 8:19PM

    @rafaqat

    This will banace Pakistan federation and will felicitate ALll the people of South Punjab (Seariki + Non Seariki)Recommend

  • Nasir Mahmood
    Aug 18, 2012 - 12:39AM

    Puzzled President confused the whole nation, the Speaker has disgraced the Chair by appointing members who are represent ethnic parties (Karachi situation is the example).

    Recommend

  • Tanzeel
    Aug 18, 2012 - 1:23AM

    This should have been done decades ago but better late than never I guess. Punjab needs to be split into three separate units at the very least to bring its population in line with the rest of the provinces. This would enable more efficient management since a sub national entity that is bigger than half of all independent nations and has 100 million people is a nightmare to manage.

    Punjab, by virtue of its massive(but heterogeneous) population also gets a disproportionate amount of say in issues of national importance and allocation of funds and natural resources most of which are generated elsewhere(KP and Balochistan are the main commodity producing provinces) for instance, the Ghazi Barotha dam is entirely in KP provincial boundaries yet the power generating turbines were installed less than half a mile from the Punjab-KP border on the Punjab side to avoid paying royalties to KP. Could a smaller province like Sindh(which btw has similar grievances against Punjab and lets not even touch Balochistan and Kashmir here) have done something like this?

    This hegemony of Punjab has resulted in widespread resentment amongst the rest of the provinces against it and has caused severe setbacks in several areas of grave national interest. Kalabagh dam was critical to avoid the energy crisis that we are in now but it couldn’t be built because of the other provinces’(read Sind and KP) distrust of Punjab and distrust well earned by Punjab through its prior actions might I add. To avoid further resentment and situations where said resentment comes in the way of national interest, it is crucial that Punjab’s power be brought in line with the rest of the provinces, something that can only be done by bringing down its population, artificially in this case.

    My last point, and by far the most important one, is that the one unit system marginalizes the people and culture of Southern Punjab and Bahawalpur by bringing it under the ‘Punjab’ banner when they have their own distinct culture and identity and since our provinces are divided on ethnic and linguistic lines(not something I agree with but accept as a fact of life that can’t be changed), its only rational that the people of South Punjab and Bahawalpur be afforded the same privilege as the Punjabis of Northern Punjab.

    Recommend

More in Pakistan