Rabbani opposes new province
ISLAMABAD: Senator Raza Rabbani, a PPP leader and Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on National Security, has warned against creation of a new province and has said that taking such a step without national dialogue is a recipe for destabilisation.
In a note of dissent on the 24th constitution amendment bill as a member of the Senate Standing Committee on Law and Justice, he said creation of a province would aggravate the national, ethnic and linguistic issues on the question of natural resources.
“It is correct that on the national or ethno-linguistic basis, certain regions may have a historically legitimate claim of being called a province, but I am of the firm view that this is not the opportune time. I concede that in these regions this will be a political slogan for the elections, but national decisions are based on firmer reasoning,” the PPP leader said in the note attached to the committee’s report presented in the Senate on Thursday.
He said the political situation was fluid, polarised and plagued by terrorism, extremism, sectarianism and regionalism. There were forces of extreme nationalist, particularly in Balochistan, working for arrangements outside the scheme of the Constitution, he said, adding that such elements would be encouraged by creation of a new province. The nationalist forces whose politics have been adversely affected by the 18th Amendment will get a new impetus.
Mr Rabbani said that if new provinces were to be created on the basis of administrative necessity, the entire federal structure would need to be revisited. “Existing provinces will also come under the knife. Will the people allow this,” he asked. Apart from sharpening the national and ethno-linguistic question, there would be a severe political backlash, he said.