The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has demanded that they be allowed to debate the creation of a separate southern Punjab province in the provincial assembly when it meets on August 11.
Shaukat Basra, the PPP deputy parliamentary leader in the Punjab Assembly, said that if Speaker Rana Muhammad Iqbal did not allow the debate at the session requisitioned by the opposition, he would be seen as a partial custodian of the house.
Basra said that the late Benazir Bhutto had wanted the creation of new provinces and it would be made part of the PPP’s manifesto. He said that the PPP did not want the carving out of new provinces along ethnic and linguistic lines, but the people of southern Punjab had long been demanding a separate province. If there demands were not met, there could be a separatist movement in the area, he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 8th, 2011.