LAHORE - Former Punjab chief minister Pervez Elahi has called for creation of a new province for Southern Punjab pleading they are not demanding it on linguistic basis but with an aim to addressing the administrative problems facing the poor people of the region. Addressing a press conference here on Thursday, Pervez Elahi said his party would form a high-level committee to carry this decision forward. He said his government spent Rs 114 billion on the development of Southern Punjab while the present government spent only Rs 5 billion. He blamed the rulers of Punjab for spending Rs 21 billion on constructing a road in Jatti Umra which, he added, was an insult for the people of Southern Punjab. He said the masses at present were highly perturbed by loadshedding, price-hike, unemployment and law and order situation. He said the traders community was also up in arms against the government policies but the government was firing shots on the protesting rallies. Pervez Elahi said over the last two years the ruling parties had done nothing for the public and they joined hands only to enjoy luxuries at the expense of national exchequer. He said had the government paid circular debts in time the masses would not have faced the energy crisis. He said today the prime minister was opening the power plants which in fact were started during his (Elahis) government. He also accused the Punjab chief minister of burdening the province with Rs 2 billion default and pushing the situation to an extent where even an Rs 500 cheque of the government would not be accepted by the banks. He said Punjab water had been sold out to Sindh and no one was there to plead for the rights of Punjab. About the two weekly holidays and early closure of the shops, he said, it was not solution to the problem. He said the chief minister would realise about the difficulties of the masses when he himself would come to the street instead of sitting in the cool offices. He said his party would come down to the street to join hands with the protesting masses. As to the Gujrat election, he said rigging by both the main parties was proved. To a question he said the Punjab government had spent the funds of local governments to pay the civil servants. The province has gone bankrupt, he added. Pervez Elahi also accused the government of forcing away the foreign investors who had come to the province during his tenure.