In an apparent attempt to pile pressure on the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), the ruling PPP has geared up deliberations for creation of a separate Seraiki province in southern Punjab.
Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani held back-to-back meetings at an Iftar dinner with parliamentarians of allied parties belonging to the region where they discussed the government strategy.
“The government is considering making an announcement for a separate Seraiki province by the end of this month,” a participant of the meeting told The Express Tribune, here on Tuesday.
He said it is a longstanding demand of people living in the southern Punjab.
Earlier, a former federal minister from the ruling PPP Babar Awan had dropped a broad hint that creation of a new province was on the cards.
The move appears aimed at diverting attention of the public from the ongoing issues while also looking to capture the vote bank for the ruling coalition.
It comes quickly on the heels of a PML-N decision to constitute a special panel to formulate suggestions for creating new provinces in the country.
The PM had invited not only the MNAs from the PPP but also from its newest ally – the PML-Q.
Gilani said the government was committed to the uplift of the underdeveloped areas of Southern Punjab, pointing out that a series of development projects were in various stages of completion.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 3rd, 2011.