Shah Mehmood Quraishi wants political parties, in general, and Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), in particular, to support Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in the creation of South Punjab province. However, before asking for their support, his party needs to have a concrete plan for the South Punjab province. And unfortunately, PTI has no roadmap for bifurcation of Punjab.

Since the incumbent government came to power in 2018, it has been saying that South Punjab province was amongst its top priorities. Had it been one of its priorities, the government would have done some homework in this regard. So far, all the major political parties have used the slogan of South Punjab province to gain political mileage.

That much said, however, the government needs to evaluate whether the merger of the erstwhile tribal districts in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) helped the people of the region. The economic crisis Pakistan is struggling with is not allowing the state to accelerate the promised plan of action in the merged districts. How is the government going to allocate funds that it will need for erecting the necessary infrastructure that a new province needs considering the financial crunch the country is facing?

Moreover, the politicians of the region are not on the same page regarding the outlook of the proposed province. Some of them want to make Bahawalpur the capital and others wish to see Multan as the provincial capital. How will the government reconcile such differing point of views? There are a lot of issues that the state needs to sort out before going for bifurcation of Punjab. And doing so will exhaust the energies of the ruling party.

Considering all these challenges, a sensible approach will be to accelerate the completion of administrative secretariats that are already underway both in Bahawalpur and Multan. Making these secretariats function will benefit the people of the region more than any other thing.