LAHORE - Showing skepticism over the PTI intentions, the PPP has decided to embark upon a contact drive to garner support for new south Punjab province.

With the consent of the central leadership of the party, the Punjab chapter of the Pakistan People’s Party has nominated the provincial information secretary Hassan Murtaza to complete the groundwork before launching a full-fledged campaign inside the House as well as through the mass mobilisation.

Hassan Murtaza told this scribe that he will head a committee to reach out to all political leaders including that of the PTI for taking them on board on the creation of south Punjab province.

Central deputy secretary information of the party Munawar Anjum said that Hassan Murtaza was also parliamentary leader of the PPP in the Punjab Assembly who will fulfill the task assigned to him by the central leadership.

Both the PPP leaders showed skepticism over the PTI intentions about making south Punjab province despite the fact that the ruling party had made strong promise before the polls and had also enjoyed the support of South Punjab Suba Mahaz in the election on commitment of another province.

The Mahaz, also comprised a number of Parliamentarians of the PML-N, which was very active before the last election raising the demand.

The PTI after coming into power had also formed a committee to work out nitty gritty for carving out south Punjab province, but the PPP did not accept that committee mainly for the reason that the same did not have representation from any Opposition party.

The PPP is also not satisfied with recently started work by the government for setting up a new secretariat in Multan for the south Punjab .

In this background, the PPP has decided to reach out to political parties and the individual parliamentarians from the south Punjab to unite them under one banner.

Hassan Murtaza said that the PTI had relegated on its promise as it was preferring restoration of the Bahawalpur State putting creation of the south Punjab province on the backburner.

He said that the PPP was going to make a serious effort for south Punjab province and for that purpose, it was going to bring in resolution with the support of others in the Punjab Assembly.

In the second place, the PPP at the level of the Senate will revive the bill/resolution it had already tabled in the last tenure for making south Punjab province.

He said the PTI government had provided ministries to hush up those members who were very vocal for south Punjab before polls and now it was using delaying tactics to make good the promise but the PPP will not let it do so.

Hassan said the PTI members supporting south Punjab province were also in contact with them.

When asked whether the PPP was in contact with the PTI government for hammering out an agreeable roadmap for the south Punjab province, he said, “Imran Khan is still standing on the container and he needs to be brought down in the first instance in order to talk to them, and it was an impossible task in the prevailing circumstances.”

He also indicated at leading a movement if need arose for this purpose.

When asked why the PPP failed to make a south province when it was in power, he said that it was because the PPP was not ruling the Punjab at that time.

Munawar Anjum seconded the words of Murtaza and said the PPP will take the matter to its logical end.

Anjum also mentioned about taking up the issue at the national level once the Punjab Assembly will carry resolution on south Punjab province.

He said the PML-N did not make efforts to make south Punjab province for political reasons and the PTI also wanted to control the province from Lahore.

He also termed the step about secretariat construction no more than an eye-wash and said that the PPP was determined to see matter reaching its logical end even if it will need to mobilise the public for this purpose.