ISLAMABAD, Aug 17: The Pakistan Muslim League-N criticised the National Assembly speaker on Friday for forming a parliamentary commission for creation of new provinces in Punjab while sitting in the United States, without receiving nominations from the party.

Talking to a group of reporters, Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan termed the move a political gimmick aimed at pushing the PML-N to the wall and hoodwinking the people of Southern Punjab and Bahawalpur.

He said his party was concerned over the fact that the speaker had once again become a part of the government’s game-plan and its dual standards. The government was not serious about the creation of new provinces but wanted to achieve its political objectives by announcing the commission, he added.

Chaudhry Nisar said he had received a verbal message last week to propose two names for the commission and while the PML-N was still preparing to discuss the matter and seeking to know its composition and terms of reference from the NA Secretariat, a commission with negligible representation from the party had been announced.

The PML-N stalwart asked the ruling PPP to take meaningful and lawful steps if it was serious about the creation of new provinces. If the proposed commission was meant only for the creation of two new provinces within Punjab, the PML-N being the single largest party in the province must have 50 per cent representation in it, he said.

Chaudhry Nisar was of the opinion that all members of the commission should be from Punjab if it related only to Punjab. “What is the role of Farooq Sattar, Haji Adeel and Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri in the matters of Punjab,” he asked and said the people who were not in a position to get even a councillor elected from Punjab had no right to be part of the commission.

It would be better not to confine the commission merely to Punjab, he said, adding that Hazara and Provincially Administered Tribal Areas should also be included. He said the commission should define the mode of division of assets and liabilities, besides water apportionment and distribution of finances among the new provinces.

Chaudhry Nisar said the PML-N was in favour of provinces of Southern Punjab and Bahawalpur and pointed out that a resolution to that effect had already been adopted by the provincial assembly.

Answering a question, he said the PML-N was against creation of any more provinces in Punjab. He said his party was aware of the conspiracy behind the talk of creation of more provinces in Sindh but did not elaborate what was the conspiracy and who was hatching it.

He said the PML-N did not want de-notification of the formation of the commission; it only wanted modifications in it. Ground realities must be kept in view while taking decisions about the proposed commission, he added.


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