PTI presents bill for creation of South Punjab province

12:30 AM | 26 Mar, 2022
PTI presents bill for creation of South Punjab province
Source: National Assembly of Pakistan (Twitter)

ISLAMABAD – The Pakistani government led by the embattled Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Friday tabled a constitutional amendment bill in the National Assembly seeking creation of South Punjab province.

The southern Punjab region consists of three administrative divisions — Multan, Bahawalpur and Dera Ghazi Khan. The region has 11 districts – Multan, Khanewal, Lodhran, Vehari, Dera Ghazi Khan, Muzaffargarh, Layyah, Rajanpur, Bahawalpur, Rahim Yar Khan and Bahawalnagar.

Southern Punjab has been a relatively impoverished region as compared to districts in north and central Punjab. People of this region have complained of being neglected in distribution of resources and called for greater autonomy.

Over the decades, successive governments in Pakistan have supported the idea of the South Punjab province, but none could go ahead with the promise.

On Friday, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, who belongs to Multan, presented the constitutional amendment bill for the establishment of the South Punjab province to National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser, Radio Pakistan reported.

“On the request of the foreign minister, the speaker directed the officials to make the bill part of the agenda of the House on Monday,” the report said.

Qureshi said that creation of the South Punjab province was part of the election manifesto of the ruling (PTI) and today the government fulfilled yet another promise made with the people of South Punjab.

The development comes at a time when opposition parties are trying to oust Prime Minister Imran Khan through a no-confidence motion. The new province move appears to be an attempt to ease pressure on the prime minister.