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Commission on new provinces meets minus PML-N

29 August, 2012

Commission on creation of new provinces elected Senator Farhatullah Babar as its chairman.
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ISLAMABAD: Amidst the boycott of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), the commission on creation of new provinces on Tuesday elected Senator Farhatullah Babar as its chairman.

The commission met for the first time since its inception, at the Parliament House, attended by nine out of 12 of its members, and elected Babar as its chairman after Jamshed Dasti proposed his name for the slot.

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

Babar told the media the commission would request PML-N members to participate in the sessions, and it would meet again today (Wednesday) for framing draft rules and adopting them to increase its efficiency.

Two Punjab Assembly members would be included as and when their nominations are received from the assembly speaker. The PML-N had raised questions over the commission's formation as well inclusion of members from ANP and MQM, as both parties did not have representation in the Punjab Assembly.

To a query on why only representatives from Punjab could not form this commission, Babar said, "When you talk about creating a new province, it requires amending the constitution, and amendment of the constitution cannot be handed over to any one province or political party."

Religious Affairs Minister Khursheed Shah said the commission would continue to work even if the PML-N does not participate. Brushing aside the PML-N's allegation that the government did not consult it over the commission, he said the opposition leaders in both Houses were formally asked for nominations.

Senator Ishaq Dar nominated one member and when there was no response from the other side, the NA speaker nominated members herself.

End.

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