LAHORE – Speakers at a discussion have stressed the need for creation of new provinces on administrative grounds and not on ethnicity or linguistic basis.They said the creation of a new province was just a political stunt as government had not required majority to amend the constitution. They said that the government should take all parties into confidence if it was sincere in creation of new provinces to resolve public problems. Nawa-i-Waqt, The Nation and Waqt TV jointly organized the discussion on “Establishment of New Province – Reservations and Expectations” at Aiwan-i-Waqt Forum on Saturday. Incharge Aiwan-i-Waqt Saif Ullah Sipra mediated the discussion participated by Secretary General Jamat-e-Islami liaqat Baloch, SG Awami Nation Party Punjab Ehsan Wyne, PML-N MNA Naseer Ahmed Bhutta, Deputy Opposition Leader at Punjab Assembly Shokat Basra and Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf Leader Mian Mehmood-ur-Rasheed. Liaqat Baloch said that the government has raised the issue for political point scoring as the assemblies have completed their tenure. He said that the government should adopt constitutional path instead of looking for political gains. Ehsan Wyne said that new provinces should be created if desired by public. He said that the PA had approved the constitution of two provinces, South Punjab and Bahawalpur, but the government put up case for one province which was unconstitutional. Naseer Bhutta said that the government had not constituted a consensus commission as suggested by the PML-N.Shokat Basra said that establishment of South Punjab was necessary to get the people rid of Takht-e-Lahore. He said that the PPP and allies had required majority in the Senate and National assembly to approve constitution of new province. He said that the PML-N would fail to deprive people of South Punjab from their due rights. Mian Mehmood-ur-Rasheed said that the PPP had presented bill in the Senate to get benefits in next elections. He said that the issue of creation of new provinces should be left to the new assemblies.

Published in The Nation newspaper on 10-Feb-2013