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LAHORE: Provincial assembly members Makhdoom Hashim Jawan Bakht and Sardar Nasrullah Dareshak, who are the driving force behind the newly-formed Junoobi Punjab Sooba Mahaz (JPSM), on Monday submitted a resolution to the Punjab Assembly secretariat, urging all parties to support creation of a new province in the southern part of Punjab.

Talking to media persons outside the Punjab Assembly, Mr Bakht urged all political parties in the house, including the PML-N, the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf and the PPP, to unanimously approve the resolution so that the plan to give due rights to the people of south Punjab could be executed.

“The remaining 45 days of the provincial and national assemblies tenures will be enough, if all parties with a clear heart and conscience go ahead to make the dream of a south Punjab province come true,” he said.

Mr Bakht asserted that the Mahaz was demanding the creation of a new smaller province, purely on administrative grounds. “There is neither any difference, nor new province being demanded on the basis of linguistic reasons,” he said. “We are here to embrace love of people of Punjab,” he added.

He read the resolution that says: “The Punjab Assembly should demand that the federal government should take practical measures to create a South Punjab province”.

The Mahaz leader said the creation of a smaller province out of Punjab having 110 million population had become inevitable to make the south’s 35 million people’s voices heard. “The devolution of much larger Punjab is inevitable to give due rights to the underprivileged people living in 11 districts (three divisions) in southern part of the province.”

Multan and Rahim Yar Khan were developing districts in 1970 but now all the 10 districts of south rank at the bottom of total 36 districts in Punjab, said Mr Bakht. He hoped that all political parties, Punjab Assembly speaker and the provincial government would support the Mahaz’ resolution.

Mr Dareshak said the south Punjab province campaign would eventually strengthen the federation and the country. He said misunderstandings were being created even when the most populated province was doing many things in good faith. “Creation of smaller provinces will bring people closer and strengthen their bonds of love,” he said.

Published in Dawn, Aprill 17th, 2018