ISLAMABAD - With outright rejection by the main opposition PML-N (Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz) the commission for carving out new provinces out of the Punjab would be meeting on August 28 to formulate its working mechanism.
Political observers and analysts say that the PPP was not looking serious about the issue and just wanted to use it as tool to woo maximum voters from southern Punjab. On the other hand the PML-N was not in a position to oppose the creation of new provinces and to neutralise the move of PPP to create Seraiki province, they rekindled the longstanding demand of giving status of province to Bahawalpur Division.
In the meantime the PML-N central leader and Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly Ch Nisar Ali Khan came up with a very strong reaction to what he termed as a unilateral move by National Assembly Speaker Dr Fahmida Mirza, who had not consulted him or his party on inclusion of their parliamentarians in the commission.
He had also challenged the rationale behind inclusion of people from other provinces in the commission like Haji Adeel, Farhatullah Babar and Dr Farooq Sattar in the commission and demanded that PML-N being the major stakeholder in the Punjab should be given 50 per cent representation in the commission.
Sources in the PML-N informed that they would be demanding reconstitution of the commission soon after Eidul Fitr and would definitely stick to their 50 per cent representation demand. They said that PML-N would not be nominating two members from the Punjab Assembly, as requested by the speaker, for the 14-member commission until their demands are met.
Acting on the written request of President Zardari, NA speaker has constituted the commission for creation of new provinces in the Punjab. In his message to the speaker, the president had asked her to constitute a commission to start the process of creating the new provinces and to also revive the status of Bahawalpur as a province.
According to the notification of the NA Secretariat, the members of the commission are: Senators Farhatullah Babar, Syeda Sughra Imam, Haji Muhammad Adeel, Kamil Ali Agha, Malik Muhammad Rafique Rajwana, Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri and MNAs Arif Aziz Sheikh, Jamshaid Ahmad Dasti, Syed Ali Musa Gilani, Tahmina Daultana, Ch Saud Majeed and Dr Muhammad Farooq Sattar. Two members of the provincial assembly would be included as and when their nominations are received from the Punjab Assembly speaker.