LAHORE– While treading carefully on the PPP-triggered issue of new provinces in Punjab, THE PML-N has put on alert the party office bearers throughout the country for a possible showdown if the federal government strove to bulldoze the stand taken by Punjab government and went ahead to carve out more provinces mainly on the basis of language.

With the party president, Mian Nawaz Sharif in the chair, the PML-N top leadership is holding meeting almost every day to discuss the issue and frame a strategy to halt the federal government from making advancement on the creation of new provinces, disregarding the point of view of Punjab and resolution passed by the Punjab Assembly earlier on new provinces. Sources in the party say the PML-N leadership is unanimous on the point that the present move of the federal government is a political gimmick to further complicate the situation, at a time when it is facing serious results from the Supreme Court in NRO case.

The party does not want the existing assemblies, which have left the life of a few months only, to legislate on this highly important matter just for the political benefit of rulers.

Sources say the PML-N is fully in favour of new provinces but by the next assemblies after the elections and that in view of the administrative needs of the people and not on the ground of language, also considering provincial status to Hazara and Fata. The party believes that under the cloak of Punjab, the ultimate goal of the Centre is the division of Sindh on rural and urban basis as well as Urdu speaking a non-Urdu speaking, which the PML-N is determined to resist tooth and nails.

Sources say the party is also conscious of the fact that the PPP owing to its poor performance in governance, intends to cash in on the issue of new provinces, however with undercover ambition to upset the current situation. The leadership is aware that if any chaotic situation erupted by that means, it may benefit any third force to make inroad as such it is designing the resistance against the PPP move in a manner that the situation does not provide for any undemocratic act. Sources say that leadership has informed the office holders of its organizations throughout the country to remain on the toes to mobilize the public opinion on the party point of view as well as for peaceful street protests.

The party leadership has also taken heart from the Balochistan Chief Minister who opposed more provinces at this stage and recognizes the resolution passed by the PA against National Commission a big step against the division of Punjab on PP terms. The resolution tabled for Pothohar province is being taken another stopper, say the sources.