ISLAMABAD – Despite PML-N’s continuous boycott, parliamentary commission on creation of new provinces held its second meeting on Wednesday and did some spade work regarding the formulation of its terms of working.

Chaired by Senator Farhatullah Babar, the commission decided to hold all its proceedings in-camera and reach out to the stakeholders in southern Punjab as well as Bahawalpur to have their input in the matter, sources in the commission informed The Nation.

The sources said that the members also unanimously decided to call federal law minister in next meeting to have legal view of the whole exercise, especially in framing of panel’s terms of working. It was also decided to contact civil society to solicit their viewpoint on the subject.

Sources in the parliament informed that National Assembly Deputy Speaker Faisal Karim Kundi also wanted to attend the session of the commission as he wanted to see his hometown Dera Ismail Khan as part of the new Janoobi Punjab province.

During the meeting Jamshed Dasti came down hard on Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Aslam Raisani for opposing the creation of new provinces in Punjab and said that denying the right to the people of southern Punjab would trigger Balochistan-like unrest in Punjab as well.

He warned the political parties against pushing the things to that direction. The next session of the commission will be held tomorrow (Friday).

Talking to media persons after the meeting Chairman Babar said they had sent messages and even rang up the members of the PML-N in the commission but none of them turned up. He said they would listen to the viewpoint of the stakeholders and the commission would formulate its recommendations in the light of their input and the deliberations of the members on the subject.

Answering a query regarding resolution of Punjab Assembly for forming Potohar province, the chairman said the commission would work in the light of the letter written by President Asif Ali Zardari to National Assembly speaker; hence the matter of the Potohar province did not fall in their purview.