New provinces: PML-N struggles against 2 resolutions in Punjab Assembly

Published: August 10, 2011
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PML-Q demands separate province for South Punjab; PML-Zia submits resolution only for Bahawalpur. PHOTO:FILE

PML-Q demands separate province for South Punjab; PML-Zia submits resolution only for Bahawalpur. PHOTO:FILE

LAHORE: 

Following in the footsteps of Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q), the PML-Zia on Tuesday submitted a resolution in the Punjab Assembly for the restoration of provincial status of Bahawalpur, leaving the ruling party in the assembly in a fix.

PML-Zia Parliamentary Leader in the Punjab Assembly MPA Chaudhry Shahid Anjum told The Express Tribune that his party wants the restoration of provincial status of Bahawalpur before one unit (in 1954).

The PML-Q on August 5 submitted a resolution notice in the Punjab Assembly regarding the formation of a new province for the people of South Punjab.

While the PML-Q has demanded a separate province for South Punjab including Bahawalpur, the PML-Zia submitted the resolution only for Bahawalpur.

The PML-N on August 8 had decided to support the formation of new provinces in the country on administrative basis and demanded that the federal government form a constitutional commission in this regard.

However, sources in the party told The Express Tribune that the two resolutions in Punjab Assembly have left the PML-N in a fix on how to tackle both resolutions.

Sources said that PML-N fears that rejection of the resolutions could possibly harm the party vote bank in South Punjab while admission could lead to legal complications. According to assembly officials, the speaker has yet to make a decision and is expected to do so today (Wednesday).

PML-Q’s resolution stated that the Punjab government had failed to address core issues of South Punjab, which should, therefore, be given a separate status of province.

Sources in the PML-N told The Express Tribune that although all political parties know that resolutions about alterations in provincial boundaries are not admissible, the party is still hesitant on rejecting it. They said that senior party leaders fear that if the resolution is rejected, the opposition would take the opportunity to malign the PML-N before the people of South Punjab.

Prior to the session, opposition parties including Punjab Governor Sardar Latif Khan Khosa have already started playing up the situation through the media, saying that the Punjab government is ‘going to kill the resolution’.

Assembly officials said that if the speaker admits the resolutions, it would not entertain them according to the rules of the Punjab Assembly procedure. Sources said that although PML-N through this strategy might benefit by saving its vote bank in South Punjab, it would be in clear violation of the constitution.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 10th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (8)

  • Aug 10, 2011 - 10:42AM

    why is the ppp and the media leading a witch hunt against punjab only? why only one province out of the 4 being targetted to be destroyed? the ppp should immediately pass a resolution in its sindh assembly to divide sindh if it loves new provinces so much.the migrants of karachi and hyderabad want a new province of their own also.

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  • rauf khan
    Aug 10, 2011 - 10:45AM

    The ppp is fulfilling its dream of breaking up punjab.the ppp has always sought to damage punjab in one way or another ,either by closing off its gas supply as they’ve done over the last 3 years or breaking it up into small small pieces.

    why not a new province in sindh in ppp’s stronghold? why not a new jinnahpur?
    why these double standards of the ppp,they say a new province in sindh will be over our dead bodies then why don’t they say the same thing in punjab also?

    why is the pml-n on the defensive so much? they should learn a thing or two from the ppp in defending one’s homeland.

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  • abbas rizvi
    Aug 10, 2011 - 10:47AM

    the pml-n has let the people of punjab down.when the ppp and the urdu media have launched a vicious racist hate campaign against punjab ,the pml-n has been sleeping or have been too timid in response.nawaz sharif should have told ppp clearly that they would not accept the destruction of punjab by the ppp.

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  • Abbas Abbasi
    Aug 10, 2011 - 2:45PM

    I think people in Punjab are being over emotional. The cases of Sindh and Punjab are completely different. Karachi has always been a part of Sindh while Seraikis always maintained geographically, culturally, linguistically and religiously (Sufi Islam) a separate identity. Seraikis, in history have never been a part of Punjab. Sikhs, British and later Military Bureaucracy looted, exploited and forcibly annexed the lovely lands of Seraikis. Now they simply want their identity back. Punjabis need not worry about them. It’s not their affair. Have fun Punjab and let Seraikis walk their own way if they want so.

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  • V. Anthony
    Aug 10, 2011 - 5:21PM

    If the people of Siraiki region which is associated with Southern Punjab want to have their separate province by the name of Siraikistan. Then that shoulb be granted to them, its their right. They are struggling for their Siraiki Province since many years. Now, if the PPP took the inivitiate and promised to work on it why Punjab Government, other political parties and people creating problem in it.
    The people of Siraiki region are really deprived of their basic needs of life. Siraikis are the biggest population of the Pakistan, about 7 karor but they are treated as slaves.
    Siraiki Province is the need of the time and Pakistan. It will help and bring stability in the country. Pakistan will be more strengthen.

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  • Grace
    Aug 10, 2011 - 8:39PM

    @V. Anthony: I really don’t think you have any understanding of Pakistani affairs when you make the comment , ” Siraikis are the biggest population of the Pakistan, about 7 karor but they are treated as slaves” Have you forget where PM Gilani is from ? Punjab is the best goiverned province in Pakistan and a powerful vote bank. Other parties want to disrupt this for their own advantage. This is simple power politics. That’s why they want to break up the Punjab but not break up Sind, Khyber-Pakhunkhwa or Baluchistan into smaller units. It has to do with vote banks. Whether you realise it or not, Southern Punjab and the Seraiki belt is still better off than the regions of Sind, Baluchistan but perhaps behind Pakhtunkhwa in terms of development.

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  • Abbas Abbassi
    Aug 10, 2011 - 9:46PM

    Dear Grace!
    Thanks for the advice. What if PPP wants to divide for votes? Seraikis always vote to PPP, and PML-N has become a regional party representing people of the Central Punjab. They do not represent us.
    And as for as Punjab’s division is concerned, it is already divided. If not then why only Seraiki districts are kept backward? Naturally PML-N do not take us as Punjabis.
    PPP is representing the aspirations of its voters. If Seraiki do not vote for PPP, then it would not be able to establish its government neither PML-N because Sindhi will never vote PML-N and neither do Punjabis for PPP. It is the Seraiki vote which decides the throne. Alas! PML-N would have listened to Seraiki Voice, it would have been sitting in Islamabad.

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  • Karim
    Aug 11, 2011 - 1:34PM

    Democracy is meant to flow upwards from the populace.

    The ultimate irony is that Musharraf’s military regime, which by nature of its existence meant “centralization”, devolved power to the people while today’s “democratic” system wants to concentrate power in a few hands.

    Our “democrats” want it to permeate only partially downwards, coming to a dead stop at the chief ministers’ level, giving him, after the 18th Amendment, the status of that of a viceroy’s during British rule, the “king” in this case being the president of Pakistan in Islamabad.

    Only a moron would be unable to understand why.

    The commissionerate system, taking away power from the stakeholders at the grassroots level, has stoked the demand for more provinces.

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