The federal government’s appointment of a Parliamentary Commission for establishment of new provinces in Punjab is an outright conspiracy against the province’s size, strength, good governance, development in agriculture, industry and commerce, advancement in every walk of life and above all peace and tranquility. While the other three, PPP dominated provinces, are in turmoil on account of power struggle, maladministration and incompetence of their provincial governments, Punjab being perfect in every aspect has become an eye sore for the rulers.

With no consideration for Punjab’s potential to face all eventualities with courage and wisdom and the fact that Pakistan’s strength lies in Punjab’s vast resources, development programs and efficient administration, the rulers are bent upon breaking the province into pieces. The evil designs are evident from a declaration by Senator Farhat-Ullah-Babar, chairman of the commission that ‘the commission has been mandated to see the possibility of new provinces in Punjab; they cannot deliberate on the creation of new provinces in other provinces.’ May I inform the rulers, especially President Zardari, that ‘breaking Punjab is like breaking Pakistan.’ Let us not create a 1971 disaster which incidentally also occurred when the PPP was in power.

It is a common observation that most politicians are neither men of wisdom nor patriotic, their personal interests are dearer to them than the welfare of the country and its people. Since the government has put the ball of creating new provinces in the open court, the politicians are coming out with all sorts of suggestions without considering there practicability. The Tehreek-e-Istiqlal President Rehmat Khan Wardak has come up with a deplorable suggestion of dividing Pakistan into 19 provinces on administrative grounds. Mr Wardak perhaps lacks the wisdom or even the common sense to visualize how big a drain it will cause to the already shattered economy of the country.

Just imagine the appointment of 19 governors, 19 chief ministers, dozens of ministers, scores of MPAs and advisors, the establishment of 19 secretariats with hundreds of staff members, the bungalows and bullet proof cars for all the above officials, their salaries, perks and privileges, expenses on foreign tours and medical treatment abroad and various other types of expenditure involved. Mr. Wardak you are rightly worried about the poor administration rampant in the country. I offer you a relatively more efficient and economical system. Revert back to the good old ‘divisional system’ with the commissioner looking after the administration of their respective divisions. The government will have to ensure that there is no political influence on their functions. The best would, however, be to defer the issue of creating new provinces till after the general elections


Lahore, January 1.