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July 15, 2020

Cracks in PTI ranks over setting up South Punjab secretariat in Bahawalpur

National

July 15, 2020

MULTAN: Cracks have appeared in the ranks of the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf over setting up the South Punjab Secretariat in Bahawalpur.

The PTI office-bearers have started fixing banners at all busy Chowks, demanding the party leadership establish the South Punjab Secretariat in Multan and camp offices in Bahawalpur and Dera Ghazi Khan. A large number of office-bearers are unhappy with the PTI leadership over shifting of the secretariat from Multan to Bahawalpur.

PTI former founder district president Ijaz Janjua said that the workers were extremely unhappy with the decision and it was hard for them to satisfy the party workers. He said that he could not face pressure from the workers as they were ceaselessly demanding the establishment of the secretariat in Multan. Ijaz Janjua said that Multan district was situated in the centre of Dera Ghazi Khan and Bahawalpur divisions.

PTI Multan city president Malik Adnan Dogar said that the South Punjab Secretariat should be established in Multan because of its central location. The historical and geographical importance of Multan was unique and Multan always performed tough tasks like the establishment of the country’s biggest quarantine centre in fight against COVID-19, he added.

Adnan Dogar said that Multan was a hub of industrial activities.

He said that all modern facilities, including education, health and transportation, were available in Multan, therefore, the South Punjab Secretariat should be established there. He appealed to Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chief Minister Usman Buzdar to revisit their decision and establish the South Punjab Secretariat in Multan.

PTI MNA Malik Ahmed Hassan Dehr underlined the need for establishing the secretariat in Multan, otherwise, the PTI would have to face an irreparable loss in the Seraiki region. “If we speak, the party declares us rebels, but the history would declare us traitors on keeping mum over the issue. I do not wish to be named as traitor", he said. He said that the PTI had constituted a committee to decide the place for South Punjab Secretariat and majority of its members belonged to Bahawalpur and Rahimyar Khan. No member from Multan or Dera Ghazi Khan was included in the committee, he added. The MNA said that Multan was a suitable place for the secretariat as it was connected with four motorways interchanges while Bahawalpur was 60km from the motorway.

The Multan had an international airport, metro bus service, southern Punjab’s biggest grain and wood markets and south Punjab’s biggest industrial estate, but the committee had ignored all these things due to the lack of representation in the committee from Multan, he added.

Ahmad Hassan Dehr said that a newly-built judicial complex building was available for the secretariat.

The secretariat would be established in Multan at any cost and the party leadership should review the committee decision, he added.

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi defended Multan in his twitter message and said that Multan would not be ignored in the administrative arrangements for South Punjab. There would be a functional secretariat in Multan with the additional chief secretary attending office three days a week. He said that the PTI had made tangible progress in its manifesto commitments and would facilitate the people of South Punjab at their doorsteps.