Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Friday lashed out at Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari for “obstructing” his vision to materialise his vision for the creation of South Punjab province, saying Bilawal was merely acting at the behest of his “teachers” mindlessly.
Qureshi, who has been struggling to reach across the political aisle to gain a two-thirds majority for the constitutional amendment required for the move, expressed frustration with the PPP chairperson’s “immature” and “childish” attitude.
The sharp tone comes as, a day earlier, the FM had written letters to President Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Shahbaz Sharif and PPP’s chairperson Bilawal for the second time, urging them to cooperate on legislation regarding the establishment of the new South Punjab province.
Qureshi's letters, written as the vice-chairperson of the ruling PTI, was in continuation of the letter sent on January 19, which drew attention towards the longstanding and important matter pertaining to the creation of a separate province of South Punjab.
In a statement on Friday, he deplored that, “Bilawal’s teachers are incompetent who hand him written slips to utter scripted statements mindlessly”. The minister said that the need to write another letter to the opposition leaders was felt when the latter did not “bother to respond” to the first one.
The foreign minister said that a report published by United Nations Development Programme has also confirmed his position that southern Punjab remained the most backward region of the country. He said that he has also sent UNDP’s data to Shehbaz, adding that he wants him to “seriously consider” the issue.
“We have to move forward keeping in view the realities of South Punjab,” he further said. Qureshi said that as time goes by, Bilawal would learn that South Punjab cannot become a province through mere criticism, rather a constitutional amendment was needed to make it a reality.
“My question is whether Bilawal is ready to cooperate with us for a constitutional amendment,” he said.
However, the top diplomat reiterated his invitation, saying that, “If you want to make South Punjab a reality, let’s does it together”. “I am presenting a bill, if your intention is clear,then cast your vote,” he added.
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