New provinces to dismember federation: Punjab Forum
Posted on 9 months ago
LAHORE (NNI): The Punjab Forum said on Wednesday that moves to carve out new provinces can lead to dismemberment of Pakistan as the issue is a political stunt aimed at point-scoring which has nothing to do with alleviate sufferings of masses.
Pakistan cannot afford such destabilising steps at a time when country is facing serious internal and external challenges, it said.
Division of any province on the basis of ethnicity, language, sect, cast, or region will trigger a chain reaction among identity conscious people leading to unending demands of new provinces, warned Baig Raj, President Punjab Forum. Partitioning Punjab will prompt a political crisis which will eventually lead to division of Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa, Balochistan and Sindh at a time when strong federation is badly needed, he added. How will government deal with the Seraiki people living in Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa, Pashtoons living Balochistan and Mohajirs and Punjabis settled Sindh, he questioned. Baig Raj said that resolution of differences lies in holding open debates, making all the pros and cons public so that a referendum can be conducted as done in other civilised countries. A matter of paramount importance should not be decided by one man in a democratic set up; he said adding that some politicians fanning this issue have failed to keep national interests as supreme. It is an open secret that MQM, an ally in the ruling coalition wants Sindh divided which may lead to a civil war, he warned. Is it guaranteed that the ruling elite of South Punjab comprising feudal lords will be able to deliver, he asked.
He said that renaming of NWFP as Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was a mistake which has given rise to new controversies and triggered the demand of new provinces. More provinces mean wastage of public money and increase in expenditure on VIP protocols of Governors, Chief Ministers and ministers which will bring limping economy down. Baig Raj said that the government has failed to deliver therefore it has been trying to divert attention of the people to non-issues which has nothing to do with resolving the problems of masses. Different ethnic groups will never agree on demarcated boundaries of the new provinces, the step may not produce desired results but it is bound to generate new problems.
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