ISLAMABAD - A group of lawmakers from south Punjab who had recently formed the “South Punjab Province Front” after parting ways with the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz are all set to join Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf today (Wednesday).

These lawmakers, including Khushro Bakhtiar, along with other group members will announce joining the PTI today during a joint press conference along with party chairman Imran Khan in Islamabad.

Secretary Information PTI Fawad Chaudhry told The Nation that the PTI and the group named “South Punjab Province Front” had reached an agreement after threadbare consultations and the details would be announced today. He said that PTI had agreed to include their demand of creation of separate province for the area of south Punjab in the 11-point reforms agenda of the party announced in its 29th April rally in Lahore. Under the agreement, PTI within 100 days after coming into government following 2018 general elections will initiate the process of creation of separate province for south Punjab ,

On April 9, more than half a dozen lawmakers, of the National Assembly and Punjab Assembly, belonging to south Punjab had announced to quit the ruling PML-N and formed a group — South Punjab Province Front —  with the objective to struggle for the creation of a separate province.

At that time, they were eight in number led by Khusro Bakhtiar and addressing a press conference in Lahore, they had announced to quit from the assemblies. They had claimed that more than 20 legislators were in contact with them and might join them in the coming days. They had announced former caretaker prime minister Balakh Sher Mazari as their leader.

The legislators who announced parting ways with the PML-N included MNAs Tahir Bashir Cheema (Bahawalnagar), Basit Bokhari (Muzafarghar), Tahir Iqbal Chaudhry (Vehari), Rana Qasim Noon (Multan) and Syed Muhammad Asghar (Bahawalnagar) and MPAs included Nasrullah Derashik (Rajanpur) and PML-N’s information secretary of Punjab Samiullah Chaudhry (Bahawalpur).

Some lawmakers and electables from south Punjab had later joined the group and the group kept on increasing its strength.

Earlier, PTI Chairman Imran Khan had formed a committee headed by party vice-chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi to negotiate with the group for convincing it to join the party.

JPSM SETS CONDITIONS

Staff Reporter from Lahore adds: Janoobi Punjab Sooba Mahaaz leaders have set conditions for its proposed merger with the PTI.

“We have proposed formation of an action committee comprising leaders from the two sides to firm up recommendations on the modalities of creation of a new province,” a spokesperson for JPSM told The Nation on Tuesday.

He further stated that the proposed body should present its report before the elections and when the new assemblies are in place, the new government should take practical steps within first two months of its coming into power.

Though the PTI spokesperson Fawad Ch confirmed the news of JPSM merger with the PTI, JPSM spokesperson said that it was subject to acceptance of our conditionalities by the Khan’s party.

“If they accept all our demands, we will announce the merger on Wednesday (today),” he said.

JPSM spokesperson also said that Wednesday’s meeting with the PTI leaders will take place at a neutral venue and not at the Banigala residence of Imran Khan. On the other hand, Fawad Ch told The Nation that the negotiations had already concluded and Wednesday’s meeting was just a formality to announce the merger. “We have accepted all their demands and details would be disclosed on Wednesday,” he said.