NA speaker forms commission to create new provinces

12 members notified; two nominees from Punjab awaited.


Sumera Khan August 17, 2012

ISLAMABAD:


The government took another step towards the formation of a new province on Thursday.


A commission for the creation of new provinces in Punjab was constituted by National Assembly Speaker Dr Fehmida Mirza - though only 12 of the 14 members of the commission have been notified. The two remaining names are still awaited from the Punjab Assembly, which has to nominate two provincial legislators to the commission.

A notification to this effect was issued by the National Assembly Secretariat.

The commission comprises Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Senators Farhatullah Babar and Syeda Sughra Imam, Awami National Party (ANP) Senator Haji Mohammad Adeel, Pakistan Muslim League-Q (PML-Q) Senators Kamil Ali Agha and Malik Muhammad Rafique Rajwana and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-F (JUI-F) Senator Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haidri. It also has MNAs Arif Aziz Sheikh, Jamshed Ahmed Dasti, Syed Ali Musa Gilani, Pakistan Muslim League-N’s (PML-N) Tahmina Daultana and Chaudhry Saud Majeed, as well as Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s Dr Farooq Sattar.

Mirza constituted the commission on the directives of President Asif Ali Zardari. Earlier, the National Assembly and Punjab Assembly had approved the resolutions for the establishment of new provinces in Punjab with an overwhelming majority.

While talking to The Express Tribune, ANP’s Haji Adeel welcomed the formation of the commission, but pointed out some queries regarding the constitutional and financial share of the new provinces, the timeframe and mandate given to the commission. Adeel said that from his understanding of the situation, the commission would be given 30 days to finalise its report regarding the new provinces. “It is nearly impossible to meet the deadline of 30 days, as it is not a simple task to accomplish. There are some extremely important factors involved that need to be discussed in detail, before conceiving new provinces in Punjab.”

Adeel also clarified that the commission’s workings would be confined to Punjab only and not work for the creation of a Hazara or Muhajir province, as no other provincial assembly had passed any resolution in favour of new provinces.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 17th, 2012.

COMMENTS (22)

Tanzeel | 8 years ago | Reply

This should have been done decades ago but better late than never I guess. Punjab needs to be split into three separate units at the very least to bring its population in line with the rest of the provinces. This would enable more efficient management since a sub national entity that is bigger than half of all independent nations and has 100 million people is a nightmare to manage.

Punjab, by virtue of its massive(but heterogeneous) population also gets a disproportionate amount of say in issues of national importance and allocation of funds and natural resources most of which are generated elsewhere(KP and Balochistan are the main commodity producing provinces) for instance, the Ghazi Barotha dam is entirely in KP provincial boundaries yet the power generating turbines were installed less than half a mile from the Punjab-KP border on the Punjab side to avoid paying royalties to KP. Could a smaller province like Sindh(which btw has similar grievances against Punjab and lets not even touch Balochistan and Kashmir here) have done something like this?

This hegemony of Punjab has resulted in widespread resentment amongst the rest of the provinces against it and has caused severe setbacks in several areas of grave national interest. Kalabagh dam was critical to avoid the energy crisis that we are in now but it couldn't be built because of the other provinces'(read Sind and KP) distrust of Punjab and distrust well earned by Punjab through its prior actions might I add. To avoid further resentment and situations where said resentment comes in the way of national interest, it is crucial that Punjab's power be brought in line with the rest of the provinces, something that can only be done by bringing down its population, artificially in this case.

My last point, and by far the most important one, is that the one unit system marginalizes the people and culture of Southern Punjab and Bahawalpur by bringing it under the 'Punjab' banner when they have their own distinct culture and identity and since our provinces are divided on ethnic and linguistic lines(not something I agree with but accept as a fact of life that can't be changed), its only rational that the people of South Punjab and Bahawalpur be afforded the same privilege as the Punjabis of Northern Punjab.

Nasir Mahmood | 8 years ago | Reply

Puzzled President confused the whole nation, the Speaker has disgraced the Chair by appointing members who are represent ethnic parties (Karachi situation is the example).

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