Presidential spokesman and PPP veteran leader Senator Farhatullah Babar was unanimously elected chairman of the commission on creation of new provinces in Punjab on Tuesday.

The commission had been formed on August 16 by Speaker National Assembly Dr Fehmida Mirza in line with the direction of President Asif Ali Zardari after passage of unanimous resolutions by National Assembly and Punjab Assembly for creation of Southern Punjab Province and revival of provincial status of Bahawalpur.

The commission held its maiden meeting here at the parliament house which was attended by nine out of twelve members of the commission, however, PML-N members of the commission did not attend. The PML-N leadership has already expressed its reservations over composition of the commission.    

During the meeting, Senator Farhatullah Babar was elected chairman of the commission unanimously. The meeting also discussed the terms of reference (ToRs) of the commission while its functioning mechanism was also discussed.

Later, it was decided to form a sub-committee to deliberate upon the working mechanism and framing of rules for the commission.

Those attended included Senators Farhatullah Babar, Syeda Sughra Imam, Haji Mohammad Adeel, Kamil Ali Agha, Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri and MNAs Arif Aziz Sheikh, Jamshaid Ahmad Dasti, Syed Ali Musa Gilani, and Dr. Muhammad Farooq Sattar.

Two members of the Provincial Assembly of the Punjab would be included as and when their nominations are received from the Speaker Provincial Assembly, Punjab.

The PML-N had raised questions over the formation of the commission, arguing the inclusion of members of Awami National Party and Mutahidda Qaumi Movement in the commission as both the parties have no representation in the Punjab Assembly.