Former prime minister and Pakistan People’s Party Vice Chairman Yousaf Raza Gilani claimed that had independence been given to the provinces, East Pakistan would not have become Bangladesh. The PPP government gave great autonomy to provinces and announced NFC Award to address sense of deprivation of the small provinces.

On the pattern of NFC award, PNF award should be announced to eliminate sense of deprivation of Southern Punjab as the dream of political stability can never be materialised with economic stability and autonomy. Yousaf Raza Gilani expressed these thoughts while talking to the media at the residence of Nawazish Pirzada after divisional workers convention of the party here on Sunday.

Gilani declared that if the government wanted restoration of Bahawalpur provincial status and creation of Southern Punjab Province, the PPP would extend all-out support. “The time is not ripe for the holding elections and without the electoral reforms and the establishment of an independent Election Commission it will be a futile exercise,” he suggested.

The former PM informed that a workers’ convention would be held in Lahore on the founding day (Youm-e-Tasees) of the party on November 30. “PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari will address the founding day ceremony after which the party Divisional Conventions will be held,” he elaborated.

Gilani recalled that the Judiciary had given a verdict not against the Prime Minister rather against the Parliament. The former PM emphasised that Imran Khan should focus on the electoral reforms and free and transparent elections rather than indulging in the politics of sit-ins and demonstration. The PPP stalwart said that it would be better if “Kalabagh Dam” should be constructed with mutual consensus of Chief Ministers of all the provinces. “We in during our government decided to construct Bhasha Dam with mutual consensus,” he claimed.

Gilani pointed out that new provinces should be created whether it was named Southern Punjab or Bahawalpur, adding that Nawaz-League seemed least interested in the creation of new provinces. “The PPP had already predicted that the Nawaz-League will not create new provinces,” he revealed.

He boasted that the PPP was the only political party where workers were elected in the Senate and Parliament as it was the party of workers.

He demanded that the Prime Minister should undertake electoral reforms and establish an independent and free Election Commission. “The PPP workers ask its leadership as to why the party is supporting PML-N? he pointed out, adding that the People’s Party was not supporting the PML-N but it was supporting the Constitution. “Constitution of Pakistan was created by People’s Party and only it can protect it, we have given sacrifices of thousands of workers and leaders for the sovereignty of Constitution,” Gilani declared.

To a question, the former PM said that he condemned the Marot incident and would table a resolution in the Parliament regarding electricity overbilling to the poor farmers.