Prime Minister Gilani told the media on Friday that the PPP Punjab would be divided into two parts; one to deal with central and northern Punjab while the other with southern Punjab. He announced that the partys head of south Punjab will be Federal Minister for Textile Makhdoom Shahabuddin. Since the Prime Minister explicitly linked the partys reorganisation to the demand for a separate Seraiki province, it seems like the opening gambit to the formation of a new province. Without doubting the partys commitment to reach out to the impoverished people in far flung areas of southern Punjab, the general impression is that it is more interested in cashing in on the ethno-linguistic and parochial sentiment. A case in point is the renaming of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the creation of the Gilgit-Baltistan province. This seemed like a move to generate political mileage rather than addressing the administrative problems faced by the people. Creating a new province at this point in time could have a domino effect on the rest of the country, where scores of groups with varied ethnicities might start campaigning for their separate units. It is also quite strange that though the PPP government had been in power on three previous occasions, it never once thought about dividing Punjab along linguistic lines. The obvious conclusion is that it is resorting to such desperate measures to put a gloss over its declining popularity as a result of its corruption-ridden track record. Critics have even been levelling the charge that PPPs new found love for the Seraiki people is bred by the partys planning for the next general elections and also its ploy to outmanoeuvre the PML-N. Rather than opening a Pandoras box of more provinces, which will deal a blow to the unity of Pakistan, the PPPs focus should be on addressing the genuine grievances of the people along the Seraiki belt. This is necessary so that the feudal landlords and tribal chiefs who are harbouring dreams of a separate province are no longer able to create fissures in society. Instead of currying favour with these power bases, it should be the marginalised people whose lives it should be improving. The solution lies in giving these areas a hefty dose of development, not rebranding political parties to appear to best optic effect.