RAHIM YAR KHAN: Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif on Tuesday expressed support for establishment of Bahawalpur province. However, he said, new provinces should be formed on administrative grounds and on recommendation of a national commission containing representatives of the current provinces.
Sharif was speaking at a public rally organised in Rahim Yar Khan by PML-N and PML-F politicians. PML-F Punjab president Makhdoom Syed Ahmed Mehmood was also present on the occasion.
Sharif said his party had time and again reiterated its support for formation of new provinces on the basis of administrative necessity.
Sharif said Bahawalpur had been a sovereign state before 1955 when all provinces in the western wing of the country were merged together to form one unit.
He said while the status of other provinces was restored on dissolution of one unit in 1970 Bahawalpur’s status as a separate state was not restored.
He said PML-N and PML-F would in future cooperate in the Bahawalpur division.
He thanked the people of Rahim Yar Khan for generous donations to the Chief Minsiter’s Flood Relief Fund. He said Rs1.5 billion had been donated to the fund by people from the region. He said his government had established 22 model villages in the province, three of them in Rahim Yar Khan. The chief minister also handed the keys to model homes to 10 families.
Speaking on the occasion, Makhdoom Syed Ahmed Mehmood said there was a need to eliminate nepotism. He criticised former Punjab chief minister Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi and said he had used police to disrupt PML-F’s public rallies during his term.
Sharif condemned the federal government for corruption in the Hajj operations and rental power projects.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 21st, 2011.
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