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PML-N submits bill seeking creation of Bahawalpur, South Punjab provinces in NA

January 28, 2019

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Bill calls for amendments in Article 1, 51, 59, 154 and 157(1) of the 1973 Constitution. — File
Bill calls for amendments in Article 1, 51, 59, 154 and 157(1) of the 1973 Constitution. — File

The PML-N on Monday submitted in the National Assembly a constitutional amendment bill for the creation of the Bahawalpur and South Punjab provinces.

The bill was submitted to the NA secretary by MNAs Ahsan Iqbal, Rana Tanvir and Rana Sanaullah. The bill demands that Article 1 of the Constitution be amended to create the Bahawalpur and South Punjab provinces.

The Bahawalpur province will consist of the current administrative division that is considered Bahawalpur, while the current divisions of Dera Ghazi Khan and Multan will fall into the South Punjab province.

The bill also calls for changes to Article 51, which will see to the changes in allocation of seats in the National Assembly, making way for representation of the two new provinces in parliament.

According to the bill, once the amendment is done, Bahawalpur will have 15 general and three women's' seats, bringing the total count of seats to 18. The bill also calls for the allocation of 38 seats to the South Punjab province.

After the amendment, the total number of seats on the NA would rise to 326, out of which 266 will be general seats while 60 will be women-specific seats.

The amendment also calls for relevant changes to be made in Article 59 of the Constitution.

The amendment also calls for 39 seats of the Punjab provincial assembly to be allocated for Bahawalpur, out of which 31 should be general and eight should be women-only. According to the bill, 80 seats should be allocated for the South Punjab province, out of which 64 should be general seats while 14 should be women-specific and two should be allocated for minorities.

The bill also calls for an amendment in Article 154 on the Constitution, through which a National Commission for the Creation of New Provinces should be constituted to deal with the area and other such specifications of the new provinces.

The bill also says that Article 175(a) of the Constitution should be amended to create principle seats of the Supreme Court and the high court in the new provinces.

The bill pointed out that on May 9, 2012 the Punjab Assembly had already approved the creation of these provinces.

The bill also said that the people of these areas have been seeking the creation of these new provinces for a very long time and have been working towards this demand.

Speaking to the media regarding this development, PML-N leaders Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Marriyum Aurangzeb and Ahsan Iqbal said that their party will support the government unconditionally if it sincerely plans to create the two promised provinces.