ISLAMABAD: Expressing serious reservations over the inclusion of certain individuals in the parliamentary commission for the creation of new provinces in the Punjab, Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan has demanded that the Speaker de-notify the commission, adding that if the commission notified by the Speaker pertains only to the division of the Punjab province, then all of its members must also hail from the Punjab while the PML-N, which is the majority party in the provincial assembly, should have at least 50 percent representation in the commission.
Nisar dubbed the notification of the present commission as “yet another political conspiracy on the part of President Asif Zardari,” while lamenting that the PML-N was not even consulted over the names of members of the commission.
Talking to a group of newsmen here at the Punjab House, Chaudhry Nisar said the role of the PML-N had been marginalised with the inclusion of only three members in the commission.
Nisar questioned the inclusion of Farooq Sattar, Farahtullah Babar, Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri and Haji Adeel Khan in the commission, asking why they should be a part of the commission when they did not belong to the Punjab.
Responding to a question, the opposition leader said he would ask the Speaker to de-notify the parliamentary commission and he would certainly demand that the body be modified. To another question, he said that the PML-N would strongly oppose any move for the division of Sindh province, as it would not be in the national interest.
He complained that the National Assembly Speaker had once again become a part of the government’s conspiracy and issued the notification while sitting in the United States. “She did not even wait for the list of names from the PML-N,” he said.
Nisar told journalists that he had received a message from the government to forward the names of PML-N parliamentarians for the commission. “But the Speaker notified the commission before the PML-N leadership could even discuss the names and terms of references for the body,” he said.
The opposition leader said if this was truly a national commission, then why the names of Hazara and Fata were missing from the notification. He added that if President Zardari was really sincere in creating new provinces, he should take meaningful, constitutional and legal measures for the purpose. “Zardari and his government want to turn the creation of new provinces in the Punjab into a political football match,” he said.
Nisar demanded that the commission should also address the issues like the division of economic/administrative responsibilities and political aspects like division of assets and distribution of Senate seats for the new provinces.