His latest statement on new province has come as a great surprise for many; because, the governor is now talking of only one province in south Punjab forgetting about a separate provincial status for the territories comprising the formerly Bahawalpur State as it existed before the dissolution of One Unit in 1970. Though the proposed new province as announced by Makhdum Mehmood will also include the territories of present B’pur division, it would, in fact, be a ‘Janoobi Punjab Province’, as originally conceived by the PPP, but in the garb of its deceitful nomenclature of ‘B’pur Province’. The core committee comprising politicians from south Punjab which met a few days back under his chair at the Governor House, apparently decided in favour of B’pur State’s restoration, but, at the same time, it also recommended inclusion of Multan and DG Khan divisions into it, a scheme of things which negates the demand for Bahawalpur as a separate entity. It has also been proposed that CM Secretariat would be set up at B’pur whereas the Governor House would be in Multan. “The governor is hoodwinking the people of Bahawalpur by pleading the case of one province only,” former Federal Minister Muhammad Ali Durrani commented. He said Makhdum was trying to befool the people by giving the nomenclature of ‘Bahawalpur Province’ to a territory which actually comprises the entire south Punjab. He called it “worst sell-off”.
Durrani said that the governor was subverting the Assembly resolutions, which call for establishment of two separate provinces in south Punjab. “Governor’s statement on the new province was uncalled for because the National Commission on new provinces is yet to submit its recommendations in the NA,” he observed. The Commission is most likely to submit its report on new provinces in the upcoming National Assembly session starting from today.
Senator Durrani said that governor’s scheme about the new province was not practicable. “You cannot have Chief Minister’s Secretariat at one place and Governor House at another”, he said.
Senator Durrani, who is the first person to initiate dialogue on formation of new provinces in 2009, affirmed that it was the constitutional, legal and historical right of the people of Bahawalpur to have a province of their own and to have full control over utilisation of its resources.