South Punjab province bill moved to honor aspirations of 35 million people: FM Qureshi

Nation will witness Prime Minister emerging victorious from the no-confidence move: FM

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MULTAN: Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi said on Saturday that the bill regarding establishment of South Punjab as a separate province had been sent to National Assembly Speaker to honour the aspirations of the 35 million people of South Punjab and to safeguard their rights.

Addressing media at Babul Quresh Multan via video link from Islamabad, he said, being the son of soil, he presented the bill after taking Prime Minister Imran Khan into confidence, and asked the PPP and PML-N leadership to rise above politics and support the initiative to prove their sincerity to the demands of the South Punjab population.

He said that he had handed over the draft bill to National Assembly Speaker and Deputy Speaker and added that it would be sent to NA Standing Committee soon and and after review it would move to the National Assembly. FM Qureshi said, the bill was moved after approval of the cabinet. Showing a copy of the draft bill to media, Qureshi thanked veteran politician and former Prime Minister Mir Balkh Sher Mazari, Sardar Nasrullah Khan Dareshak, Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiyar, Malik Amir Dogar, Malik Ahmad Hussain Dehar, and all the parliamentarians who supported the initiative

Federal parliamentary secretary for finance Makhdoomzada Syed Zain Hussain Qureshi, Punjab energy minister Dr. Akhtar Malik, provincial parliamentary secretary for information Muhammad Nadeem Qureshi, special assistant to chief minister Haji Javed Akhtar Ansari, MPA Waseem Khan Badozai, Malik Adan Dogar, and PTI south Punjab general secretary Moin Riaz Qureshi were present. FM said that suggestions from parliamentarians on the bill would be welcomed.

Qureshi said that nation would soon witness Prime Minister Imran Khan emerging victorious from the no-confidence move.

He said that people could now see clearly that PM Imran Khan was waging struggle against a band of corrupt politicians. He said that the opposition alliance would fall apart within next few weeks. FM Qureshi said that PML-Q could never go along with the PML-N saying that in past it was the N league that caused the split. Similarly, MQM would hardly be able to move along PPP as the MQM had been protesting against the PPP policies since long. Qureshi said that the March 27 ‘Amr Bil-Maroof’ public gathering of PTI would turn out to be a big success. Foreign Minister said PTI did not want confrontation and so would hold public meeting at the parade ground instead of D Chowk as per orders of Supreme Court. Foreign Minister said, a number of stakeholders put in efforts for the cause of South Punjab province and he specifically mentioned the name of late Barrister Taj Muhammad Khan Langah, the head of Pakistan Seraiki Party. He, however, added that former Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani could not make any progress on the separate province matter while the PML-N created hurdles. He said that South Punjab legislators from all the political parties should press their party leadership to support the South Punjab province bill. He said that PTI was a big political party having roots in all provinces and believed that small provinces should be formed to protect rights and interests of the people.

He recalled that he was visiting Sindh when Prime Minister Imran Khan consulted him before categorically announcing PTI policy on south Punjab during Mailsi public meeting.

South Punjab province was part of PTI manifesto, he added. While other political parties spoke a lot about South Punjab, but it was PTI that took practical steps braving all odds and bureaucratic hurdles and now secretariats were functional in Multan and Bahawalpur.

Separate Annual Development Plan book was published for South Punjab and huge funding was made for the first time by the present government. Job quotas were also allocated for South Punjab, Qureshi said.

He said that he had talked to leader of the opposition in Senate Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani and sought his support to launch combined efforts for province.

However, he added, he wrote letter to Bilawal Bhutto Zardari after he did not receive response from Mr. Gilani.

FM Qureshi said, he was unable to understand that Bilawal Bhutto Zardari used to talk a lot about South Punjab but did not talk about it in the National Assembly.

Bilawal had not yet responded to the two letters written to him, FM said and added that Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto had supported demand for South Punjab province.

He expressed the hope that all Seraiki parties would support the initiative of the government.

He expressed happiness over the big and successful rallies taken out by the PTI workers led by MNAs in Multan and asked them to join March 27 public meeting in Islamabad in big numbers.

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