BAHAWALPUR - Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi Saturday said new provinces should be created only through political consensus as no single party could introduce a constitutional amendment.

Addressing a public gathering after inaugurating the 45-kilometre-long section of National Highway-5 linking Jalapur Pirwala to Uch Sharif areas of South Punjab, the prime minister said all political parties should incorporate the demand of new provinces in their manifestos and hold dialogue after the general elections to evolve consensus on the subject.

“The same demand exists in KP, Sindh and Balochistan. People also talk of South Punjab. This is a political dialogue. All political parties should join heads on the issue as no single party can decide it,” he remarked.

Referring to some parliamentarians of Pakistan Muslim League-N who had recently announced their resignations calling for a South Punjab province, the prime minister said they had been the part of the government for five years and they should have taken up the issue with the party.

“Holding press conferences two months before the elections will not help resolve public issues. Public representation is not made through press conferences, but by public service,” the prime minister remarked.

He recalled it was only the PML-N that had got passed resolution for South Punjab and Bahwalpur provinces.

The prime minister who earlier unveiled the plaque of the project said the Seraiki people always showed loyalty to PML-N and chose the representatives who served them as well as the country.

He hoped PML-N would stand victorious in next polls as the party had executed record development projects having no comparison with the performance of the past governments.

He said PML-N performance always haunted its opponents and would take it to lead the next elections.

He said the credit of accomplishing all half-completed projects of its predecessors also went to the PML-N government, be it Lowari Tunnel, Kacchi Canal, Neelum-Jhelum or the one inaugurated on the day.

Prime Minister Abbasi told the gathering that the project had cost Rs 5 billion. He claimed the incumbent government executed power projects to add 10,400MW to the national grid.

He also presented comparison between the development works carried out in the opposition-led Sindh and KP provinces and those in the Punjab.

Prime Minister Khaqan Abbasi who was accompanied by Education and Professional Training Minister Balighur Rehman and local parliamentarians questioned the inertia of previous governments for failing to expand motorways network despite having resources. In fact, they had no intention to serve the masses and only wanted to loot the national kitty, he remarked.

He said the PML-N government was about to complete its term, proving all the prophecies of the so-called political leaders wrong.

He said the people did not like the politics of falsity and in the July elections they would once again choose the politics of truth and respect.

He questioned why the CPEC could not be signed during previous governments and mentioned the construction of 1,700km-long network of motorways from Karachi to Peshawar what he believed would change the fate of the country.

As demanded by the local leadership, the prime minister also announced the construction of motorway interchanges for Bahawalpur and Ahmedpur East.

Regarding the elevation of Ahmedpur East city’s status to district, the prime minister said legal hitches and the Election Commission’s decision barred him from announcing it, but hoped the Punjab chief minister would meet their demand.

The prime minister said despite all odds, including legal proceedings, the government kept up its development course. He reiterated political decisions should be made at polling stations as history would not respect certain verdicts even after having been implemented.

Meanwhile, during his meeting with public representatives and the party workers, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said earlier Nawaz Sharif was disqualified for not getting salary from his son’s firm and on Friday he was disqualified for lifetime. “We accept this decision, but the history will tell you something else,” he remarked.

“Power of 220 million people’s vote is being dragged to courts on the pretext of accountability. Nawaz Sharif still rules the heart of millions and the whole nation has rejected the decision,” the PM averred.

He said not a single person, but every politician should have been held accountable. The PTI chairman who talked about accountability could not even run the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government. He claimed the nation would defeat Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and Pakistan People’s Party in 2018 general elections.