South Punjab: Opposition to present resolution out of turn
LAHORE, Dec 13: Frustrated by rejection of their resolution for carving out a south Punjab province in the chamber by the Punjab Assembly speaker, People’s Party and Muslim League-Quaid have decided to present it out of turn in the house this week.
The opposition parties have finalised the strategy after failing to receive any positive response from the assembly secretariat with regard to the resolution being taken up in the house.
Both the PPP and the PML-Q in their respective parliamentary parties meetings for the first time had also passed the resolution urging the federal government to “initiate the process to make necessary amendments to the 1973 Constitution to make south Punjab a separate province on administrative grounds”.
They had separately submitted the resolution to the Punjab Assembly Secretariat on more than one occasion. The Q League claims the credit for submitting it first in Oct, 2010.
“We have finalised the strategy in the face of the PML-N’s delaying tactics in this regard. We have decided to table the resolution out of turn in a couple of days and try to get it passed,” Shaukat Basra, PPP deputy parliamentary leader, told Dawn.
He said the speaker had been sitting on the resolution and the opposition felt that presenting it directly would further put pressure on the PML-N to support it. “Everyone knows the Sharifs do not want south Punjab province and their statements are a mere attempt to please the people of the impoverished part of the province,” Basra said.
On the other hand, Punjab Assembly Speaker Rana Iqbal reportedly has not yet received any ‘go-ahead’ from Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif to allow the opposition to table the resolution. It appears to be a contradiction, as PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif had announced in a public rally that he supported formation of south Punjab province on administrative grounds.
Deputy Speaker Rana Mahshud told Dawn the assembly secretariat had no issue in accommodating the opposition’s resolution. “There has been no directions from the government to the assembly secretariat to reject the resolution,” he responded firmly to a question.
PML-Q’s Mohsin Leghari said if the PML-N supported the demand for the new province, the speaker must allow this and other opposition members’ latest resolution in his regard after Nawaz Sharif’s statement. “If the speaker does not do this then we will go for suspension of the rules and present it in the house,” he added.