PML-N rejects Qureshi’s offer for talks on south Punjab

Published January 23, 2022
This combination of photos show Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi (R) and PML-N president  Shahbaz Sharif. — AFP/FO
This combination of photos show Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi (R) and PML-N president Shahbaz Sharif. — AFP/FO

LAHORE: The opposition Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has rejected the offer of Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi to join hands with the government for the creation of a south Punjab province, advising him to take up the bills the PML-N submitted in the provincial and national assemblies on the issue and get them passed.

Mr Qureshi told reporters in Multan on Saturday that he had written to Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif and Pakistan Peoples’ Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, asking them to join the efforts of the ruling party to create south Punjab province.

“PML-N president Shehbaz Sharif does not feel the need to respond to Mr Qureshi’s offer that is nothing short of a political stunt, and if the PTI is serious about it then it should take up the PML-N’s bills,” PML-N Punjab information secretary Azma Bokhari told Dawn on Saturday.

“Just like the PTI bulldozed a number of bills in parliament, it can manage this one too; nobody is stopping it,” she said sarcastically and asked the minister to stop fooling the people after three and a half years in power.

Also read: Qureshi invites opposition for talks on new Punjab province

PML-N Punjab president Rana Sanaullah also asked Mr Qureshi to explain why Prime Minister Imran Khan never felt the need to write to the opposition leader on Covid-19, Kashmir issue, national security policy, the Financial Action Task Force or creation of south Punjab and Hazara provinces.

Mr Sanaullah further remarked that when it came to legislation on Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav, the so-called mini budget, amendments to the accountability laws and alleged relief to the PM’s associates the government never bothered to consult the opposition, but now after more than three years it was writing a letter to the opposition leaders to seek support on the creation of south Punjab. “Who is the PTI fooling?” he asked.

The outspoken PML-N leader said his party’s stance on the creation of south Punjab, Hazara and Bahawalpur provinces was clear and this offer was nothing but a political stunt.

Published in Dawn, January 23rd, 2022

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