Political manoeuvring: PPP courts MQM, JUI-F for Bahawalpur South Punjab

Published: February 4, 2013
Offers to meet the two parties’ demands regarding dual nationality bill, governor’s rule in Balochistan. PHOTO: FILE

Offers to meet the two parties’ demands regarding dual nationality bill, governor’s rule in Balochistan. PHOTO: FILE


The ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) is seeking the support of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F) for the Bahawalpur Janoobi Punjab (BJP) provinces, The Express Tribune has learned.

According to credible sources, the ruling party has offered to meet the two parties’ demands regarding the dual nationality bill and governor’s rule in Balochistan – MQM wants the dual nationality bill passed at all cost while JUI-F demands the restoration of the Balochistan Assembly and an end to governor’s rule in the province. They said PPP MNA Khursheed Shah is engaged in talks with both parties in this regard.

Reportedly PPP is close to reaching consensus with JUI-F with regards to their demands. The sources claimed this had been the reason for postponing the joint parliamentary session to validate governor’s rule in Balochistan. According to article 234(3) of the Constitution, the proclamation of a state of emergency must be validated by the Parliament.

Sources alleged the reason behind JUI-F’s demand for restoring the Balochistan Assembly were certain development funds, frozen after governor’s rule had been imposed. They claimed the party needed funds in order to contest the upcoming elections. PPP’s decision to postpone the joint sitting of the parliament was part of a deal with JUI-F, they added, saying the latter would support the bill to create the new province in exchange.

According to reports, JUI-F’s Maulana Shirani has forwarded a detailed proposal for restoring the Balochistan Assembly to PPP. Reportedly, the politico-religious party has asked for the chief minister’s slot in the revamped provincial government. JUI-F senior leader Ghafoor Haideri could not be contacted for confirmation.

At the same time, PPP’s talks with MQM are still in progress, according to sources in the party. In addition to Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, the Awami National Party (ANP) and JUI-F have expressed opposition towards the dual nationality bill as well. The sources said PPP leadership has asked their MQM counterparts to at least win support from JUI-F in this regard or suggest an alternative to get the bill passed by the parliament. The ruling party has also asked MQM to try to get ANP to support the bill as well.

MQM chief Altaf Hussain recently held talks with ANP chief Asfandyar Wali Khan and JUI-F head Maulana Fazlur Rehman in this regard.

While PPP’s central information secretary could not be reached, the party’s Punjab spokesperson Shaukat Mehmood Basra said that both President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf have assured him that the bill for creating the province will be successfully adopted in parliament.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 4th, 2013.

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Reader Comments (20)

  • Shaami
    Feb 4, 2013 - 9:28AM

    MQM , JUIF and ANP dont have any representation in Punjab then who have given the right to the federal government to include them in this decision.? Why PMLN and PMLQ who is elected by the people is disregarded in decision making?. I am telling you the day this bill will went through it will open the door to Punjabi Nationalism and then nobody should ever complain when Punjabi Nationalism will replace Pakistaniat in Upper Punjab and it will create schisms in this country and nothing else.


  • Omer
    Feb 4, 2013 - 10:35AM

    MQM, ANP and JUI they should not meddle in affairs of the province in which they have no representation


  • Karachiwala
    Feb 4, 2013 - 12:54PM

    MQM cries over when some one talk for karachi, now what???


  • Shah
    Feb 4, 2013 - 1:08PM

    @Omer and @Shaami

    If THAT is your argument, then why is the PML-N meddling in the affairs of Karachi?


  • Karachi Wala
    Feb 4, 2013 - 1:10PM

    Non representative parties nad people should not interfere in issues related to urban Sindh including Karachi. Its the nature TIT FOR TAT my dear.


  • Mansoor
    Feb 4, 2013 - 2:02PM

    It’s now high time for Punjabis to wake up for their rights to correct the political injustices that have been committed against them thoughout this country’s history. And to begin with, Punjabi must be the official language of the punjab. And, naturally, no body has the right to divide punjab except the people themselves, and not the land lords or muhajirs.


  • Zaheer
    Feb 4, 2013 - 3:16PM

    Dear friends, there is no problem in dividing any province including Sindh if this improves governance in that province. There are many such examples in India and other parts of the world where administrative divisions do result in good governance.

    Yes, i agree, any division on language or ethnic group may further create problems for Pakistan.


  • JKham
    Feb 4, 2013 - 4:07PM

    I think all parties including MQM, ANP, JUI should support president zardari for this brave decision to empower and make free saraiki people from the upper class punjabis. PML N and Q have been meddling both in KPK and Sindh appairs why? They didn’t have any representation there so now it is our turn. @shami and Mansoor punjabi nationalism will be disaster for punjabis not for others so don’t give such statements.


  • Reality Check
    Feb 4, 2013 - 4:22PM

    Are you sure you guys live in Pakistan? Punjab gets 60 percent of budget, 60 percent of NA seats, Sindh & Balochistan’s gas & water, 80 percent of military & 70 percent of civilian bureaucracy, dry ports in such a small country (area-wise) to deprive Karachi of its revenue, etc. etc.

    Injustices to Punjab, funniest thing I’ve ever heard. Raiwind League tries to get delimitation done without a national census in Karachi, meddles in SPLGO debate for giving democratic rights to common people of Sindh which they couldn’t do in Punjab because fascist CM wants 18 ministries & now cries foul to destroy the hopes of Seraiki people whose budget has been spent on Lahore & GT Road.


  • Reality Check
    Feb 4, 2013 - 4:25PM

    Punjabi Nationalism will be a disaster for Punjab, not any other province. It will deprive Punjab of the resources it has been stealing for 65 years so we don’t mind any Punjabi Nationalism lol


  • Farhan
    Feb 4, 2013 - 4:38PM

    Show how much the PPP cares for the country – dual nationality bill and more havoc in Balochistan, just to have a shot at gaining a foothold in Punjab.


  • JKham
    Feb 4, 2013 - 5:00PM

    @Farhan PPP is a national party represent all provinces and we all trust in them except Lahore and GT road.


  • Omer
    Feb 4, 2013 - 5:01PM

    It is time for the people of South Punjab to get their rights. In addition, smaller provinces will mean a more decentralized allocation of power.


  • Shaami
    Feb 4, 2013 - 5:10PM

    @Reality Check
    Any nation with brain never ever deprive themselves of resources my friend. People said the same thing about Israelis but now they rule the world. Punjabi Nationalism will be the best thing for Punjabis. I am a Punjabi and I am educated person and if any Party will be launched the I will be the first member of that party and i will do my utmost to transform them into a Secular and Progressive nation as Nationalism really do wonders and Nationalism and Secularism are pretty much coherent as well.
    There is something in Punjab that all feel threatened by them. Do you know when Britishers came then they were the first one to ban Punjabi literature because they feel threatened by it. After the Indian Revolutionary Bhagat Singh and KIng of Punjab’s Ranjit Singh fight, Britishers were adamant to end Punjabi and they replaced it with Urdu and gave scholarships to Urdu Poets to replace Punjabi. Then after the creation of Pakistan Paki establishment ban only two languages because of separatist tendencies and they were Bengali and Punjabi because it was again a threat to them. Punjabis throughout history from the ancient History of King Porus to the modern History of Dullah Bhatti, Waris Shah, Ghakkars and Ranjit SIngh remained a threat to those who want to mint them for their own desire and they devised way and means to suppress them and this time as well now all others are united against them but for kind information you can never suppress a nation that does know how to rise from the ashes when the time arises.


  • JKham
    Feb 4, 2013 - 6:44PM

    We welcome such move that you would go nationalist, no one is going to stop you, please go ahead. Regarding your history so don’t associate your history with Sikhs. Even if you insist to associate so their history, culture etc are just three hundred years old. In fact, Other nations in pakistan got four thousand years old history.


  • Qaisrani
    Feb 4, 2013 - 6:59PM

    Bravo Jkham and reality Check.


  • Feb 4, 2013 - 7:43PM

    @Shaami: Your long article is full of assumed statements having no credible support of historical Data.


  • Saqib
    Feb 4, 2013 - 11:46PM

    Nobody cares about Punjabi nationalism, trust me !


  • Hasan
    Feb 4, 2013 - 11:52PM

    Great Step by MQM. Time for MQM to get the deserved request for its Mandate. Overseas Pakistanis have contributed a lot for this country. Such a request is totally justified. If we want to evlove out of corruptions. We need true honest and educated leaders.


  • Salman
    Feb 7, 2013 - 8:58PM

    Sixty-Two percent of the population of Pakistan lives in the Punjab province. The accumulation of resources is just in some parts of this province and it is literally unmanageable. British Raj kept Punjab large because it wanted to keep it backward and underdeveloped, and the feudal mindset accepted that approach.
    The results are horrendous and heart-wrenching. States like Bahawalpur, which were the richest in Asia before partition are now one of the most backward in Pakistan. The literacy rate was hundred percent back in pre-partition era, but now illiteracy is everywhere and the educational infrastructure is null. Same is the case with the region called as Seraiki belt. If you look at the 3 year rule of Shahbaz Sharif, you would see that he has only concentrated on the Lahore and its suburbs and sometime on Rawalpindi. Rest of the province is just for his helicopter or snaps short visits rarely. He has been termed as chief minister of Lahore many times. The budget of Lahore is more than the budget of rest of the Punjab. The truth is that the Seraiki belt and Bahawalpur should be made two separate provinces. The belt consisting of Rawalpindi, Attock, Sargodha, and Chakwal, up to Bhera should be made another province. Punjab should be divided into such small provinces to make it manageable and governable.


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