The rumpus in the National Assembly over the creation of new provinces of South Punjab and Hazara on Thursday was a sad reflection on the state of discipline of our legislators. The leaders are supposed to be our role models; they are forgetting that the assembly building itself is meant to talk over and resolve issues peacefully rather than indulging in acts that reek of rabble in the streets.

Understandably, of late the PPP government has been arguing a lot in favour of the Seraiki province. It is responsible for the pandemonium in the august house. Only the other day Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani questioned that if the Seraiki province could not be formed during his tenure (because he belonged to that area) when would it come into being? The commotion started when MQM leader Farooq Sattar initiated the debate. He was rebuffed by the PML-N, which stated that the party was not against the debate, but Mr Sattar should speak only on the point of order and not violate the rules of the assembly. This was the prelude to the bedlam that was followed by the walkout of the ANP.

Anyone who is slightly familiar with what is currently happening in the country, where there is no gas and electricity and the streets are presenting the look of a battleground between the downtrodden and the police would heave with sorrow, anger and shame. The law and order situation has gone out of control. On the political front, the landscape is brewing with conspiracies, scandals, intrigues and sordid wheeling and dealing. Supreme Court’s orders are being defied against a ticking clock. And to top it all, the government’s credibility has sharply fallen owing to rampant corruption. Yet what is surprising is that the government has found time to raise the issue of new provinces, which amounts to opening a Pandora’s box of political instability. Besides, provinces are not created with a magic wand. They involve a long arduous process, in which there are constitutional and administrative issued to be settled; a large amount of finance will be needed to make them workable.

And when apparently there is not even enough money to procure fuel for railways, one cannot help but wonder if the PPP is interested merely in gaining political mileage out of the issue. The federal government must put its act together and get on with resolving people’s problems and refrain from creating more for the country.