LAHORE - Following its outright rejection of the National Commission on new provinces in the Southern Punjab, the PML-N has now come up with a new demand for yet another province-Pothohar, comprising four districts in Northern Punjab.

Some 14 members of the PML-N belonging to the Pothohar region submitted a resolution in the Punjab Assembly Secretariat on Wednesday demanding constitution of another National Commission to sort out key issues relating to the creation of a new province which would have its territories spreading over four districts of Rawalpindi division-Attock, Chakwal, Jhelum and Rawalpindi.  It is quite strange to note that while the PML-N has rejected the existing National Commission which had been constituted in pursuance of two Punjab Assembly resolutions seeking creation of two provinces in South Punjab; the ruling party in Punjab now wants the provincial legislature to adopt another resolution for Pothohar province.

“This representative House of Provincial Assembly of the Punjab demands of the Federal Government to create Pothohar province; and, in order to materialise its formation, it also demands immediate constitution of a National Commission to deliver verdict on all key issues relating to new provinces in Pakistan by completing the whole process through national consensus keeping in view the Constitutional provisions”, says text of the resolution which may be taken up by the Assembly during its next session.

The PML-N MPAs who affixed their signatures on the said resolution include: Ch Sarfraz Afzal (PP-6), Shair Ali Khan (PP-13), Shaukat Aziz Bhatti (PP-4), Engineer Qamarul Islam (PP-5), Malik Muhammad Waris Kaloo (PP-42), Malik Aitbar Khan (PP-19), Maj (Retd) Muhammad Aazam Khan (PP-18), Col. (Retd) Shuja Khanzada (PP-16), Tanvir Aslam Malik (PP-21), Malik Muhammad Zahoor Anwar (PP-23), Zia Ullah Shah (PP-11), Rehana Hadees (W-327), Zill-e-Huma (PP-8), Ch Shaukat Manzoor Cheema (PP-104) and Shaheryar Riaz (PP-12).

Later, talking to reporters at the Assembly premises, Ch Sarfraz Afzal said that the people of Pothohar had been deprived of basic necessities of life despite the fact that the region had abundant coal reserves in Chakwal and oil in the districts of Attock, Jehlum and Rawalpindi.

He was of the view that the Parliamentary Commission was focusing on carving out of only two provinces while ignoring the people of Pothohar region.

Making a case in favour of the new province, he said that current Army chief, DG ISI, Opposition Leader, Ch Nisar Ali Khan, Senate Chairman, Nayyar Bokhari and even the incumbent Prime Minister hailed from the Pothohar region.