New provinces... By Mohsin
08 February, 2013
Concentration and centralisation of power are the hallmarks of autocratic and totalitarian governments, while decentralisation and devolution of state authority are the characteristic features of democratic governments and essential for good governance. Ever since the establishment of Pakistan, we have been ruled by those obsessed with the idea of concentration of power at the centre. The creation of one unit in 1955, by consolidating the four provinces of West Pakistan, is a glaring example of this obsession. It was often justified in the name of balancing the two federating wings of the country. However, the balance could have been achieved by dividing the eastern wing into smaller parts to match the western wing.
If we take a look at our neighbouring countries, we'll note that in India, there are 28 states; there are 34 provinces in Afghanistan, 30 provinces in Iran and 33 provinces in China. We have the largest provinces in the region both in terms of population and area. There are calls for creation of more provinces but they are political, not practical, in nature. Provinces are administrative units, meant for administrative convenience and effectiveness. Keeping this in view, the demands for Hazara, Bahawalpur and Mohajir provinces are not based on the ground realities. What we need instead are 8-10 new provinces which can be formed by dividing Punjab into three and the other three provinces into two units each.
Mohsin Raza Malik