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PPP not sincere about Bahawalpur province: Nisar

28 January, 2013

ISLAMABAD: Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan addressing a press conference at Punjab House.
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ISLAMABAD: Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Chaudhry Nisar on Sunday rejected the commission on new provinces, saying the PML-N would bring a constitutional amendment in parliament in response to a resolution for the creation of a new province in Punjab.

Talking to reporters, Nisar said the issue of a new province in Punjab is a political card for the ruling PPP. He said putting aside all the past bitterness, he would consult the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Imran Khan on names for the caretaker set-up at the centre and in Punjab.

He said the PML-N had proposed that all governors, chief secretaries, key bureaucrats and ambassadors to UK and US be changed before elections and Pemra and Nadra be made directly accountable to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) during elections.

Nisar said the commission on provinces, headed by Senator Farhatullah Babar who calls himself staff officer to the president, was given a mandate to work on two new provinces but it decided on the creation of one province named Bahawalpur Janoobi Punjab (BJP).

"There is one BJP in India and they want to create a BJP in Pakistan," Nisar said.

He said the PML-N adopted the constitutional way and got the resolution for two new provinces in Punjab passed whereas the PPP and Punjab Governor Makhdoom Ahmed compromised on the interests of the people of Bahawalpur and southern Punjab deciding on creation of one new province.

"The PPP leadership was never sincere in new provinces. It takes this issue as a political card," he said, adding the PPP did not have a two-thirds or simple majority in the Punjab Assembly to carry out any amendment in the Constitution.

Nisar said the constitutional amendment of the PML-N on Bahawalpur and southern Punjab provinces was almost ready and it would be introduced in the National Assembly.

He said the national commission headed by Senator Farhatullah Babar did not deserve to be called a 'national commission' as it was a 'self-made commission' and the PML-N was also not consulted on its formation.

He said his party's sit-in in front of the Parliament House would be a one-day event at the start. "It has no similarity with the sit-in of Dr Tahirul Qadri," he said.

He said the PML-N's sit-in in front of the Parliament House is a continuation of a joint sit-in staged in Karachi by all opposition parties. "The leaders staging a sit-in in Karachi will reach Islamabad and the opposition parliamentarians will join them here," he said.

Nisar pointed out that the opposition parties are protesting against creation of hurdles in verifications of voters' lists in Karachi and non-implementation of the verdict of the Supreme Court (SC) about the demarcation of constituencies in Karachi.

He said the opposition would also hand over a memorandum to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), reminding it of a constitutional violation by not nominating opposition leaders in Balochistan and Sindh assemblies.

Nisar said they had already given a proposal to the ECP stating that all four governors and chief secretaries, homes secretaries, chief commissioner of Islamabad, Nadra chairman etc. be removed before the elections.

He said the PML-N had also proposed that inspectors general (IGs) of all provinces and Islamabad, chief secretaries of Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Kashmir, principal and special secretaries to prime minister, interior secretary, secretary cabinet, secretary establishment, secretary SAFRON, secretary information in federal and provincial governments, deputy chairman Planning Commission, secretary finance, principal secretaries to all governors and chief ministers, senior member Board of Revenues, additional chief secretaries (Development), attorney general and advocate general, heads of PTV and Radio Pakistan, politically appointed ambassadors in important countries like UK and US, be changed before elections.

He said his party had proposed that Pemra and Nadra be made directly accountable to ECP during elections.

Online adds: Nisar said his party was committed to the Hazara province and would consult other parties on this issue.

"No senior member of the PML-N belonging to Punjab was consulted prior to the formation of the parliamentary commission, which was unlawfully named by the president," he said.

He stated that members of the Parliamentary Commission on the Creation of a New Province were from ANP and MQM, which had no representation in Punjab.

Nisar said that the federal government should have consulted the PML-N about formation of the commission under the law. He underlined that parts of northern Punjab were also included in the proposed southern Punjab province.

PPI adds: Nisar said formulation of a new province was not a matter of grave concern as there were other major issues in the country. "If a southern Punjab province was formed, Makhdoom will become its chief minister and Gilani will become the governor. The problems of the poor people will remain as they are," he added.

End.

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