AHMEDPUR EAST-When Bahawalur National Awami Party Chairman Nawab Salahuddin Abbasi was offered to lead Janoobi Punjab Sooba Mahaz (JPSM) before July 25 general elections, he responded affirmatively but later avoided to attend the press conference in which the JPSM was launched.

It is hot topic of discussions nowadays in Ahmedpur East and other areas. It had been decided that in the formation of South Punjab province Nawab Salahuddin Abbasi would be inducted as its head and his son Prince Bahawal Abbas Khan Abbasi will be inducted in federal cabinet.

According to sources, Salahuddin consulted his political comrades including former federal minister for information Muhammad Ali Durrani and PML-Q central secretary general Chaudhry Tariq Bashir Cheema on the issue. Both the leaders opposed Janoobi Punjab Sooba Mahaz and urged him to continue his support for the restoration of former provincial status of Bahawalpur.

They revealed that the establishment was annoyed with Amir of Bahawalpur Nawab Salahuddin Abbasi over his decision not to lead Janoobi Punjab Sooba Mahaz which later on merged into Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf.

Abbasi’s decision also caused defeat of his son Prince Bahawal Abbas Khan Abbasi who contest the election as independent candidate as powerful circles were supporting PTI candidate for NA-174 Ahmedpur East during election campaign.

Abbasi was also offered that secretariat of South Punjab province would be established in Dera Nawab Sahib if he agrees to lead the South Punjab Sooba Mahaz. Due to his reluctance, Makhdoom Khusru Bakhtiar of Rahim Yar Khan who parted his ways with PML-N was elevated as the president of Janoobi Punjab Sooba Mahaz. It is interesting that Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar is also a member of Janoobi Punjab Sooba Mahaz while Mahaz President Makhdoom Khushru Bakhtiar and his younger brother Hashim Jawan Bakhat were inducted in federal and provincial cabinets.

Similarly, Chaudhry Samiullah, the secretary information PML-N Punjab from Bahawalpur, also joined Janoobi Punjab Sooba Mahaz and was awarded PTI ticket for Bahawal city at the eleventh hours and his rival Syed Tehseen Gardezi’s ticket was cancelled who is close relative of PTI stalwart Jahangir Tareen. Samiullah Chaudhry was also inducted as Minister for Food in Punjab cabinet. Moreover majority of the ministers of Punjab cabinet hailing from South Punjab are part of Janoobi Punjab Sooba Mahaz while old PTI MPAs were ignored in Punjab cabinet.

It is also pertinent to mention that Nawab Abbasi had also contradicted the reports of the merger of Bahawalpur National Awami Party (BNAP) in Pakistan Tehreek-e-Isaf and his support for proposed South Punjab province.

This correspondent failed to contact with Nawab Salahuddin Abbasi on phone in Islamabad. When asked, his son Prince Bahawalpur Abbas Khan Abbasi at Sadiq Garh Palace Dera Nawab Sahib did not comment on the issue. He said that he would talk to his father on the matter.