Establishing South Punjab province part of PTI’s manifesto: FM Qureshi


—Shah Mehmood says govt does not dictate accountability institutions 

MULTAN: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi Sunday said that the creation of South Punjab province is a necessity which cannot be ignored.

Talking to newsmen in Multan, the minister said that establishing a separate province in South Punjab was part of PTI’s manifesto. The minister said that a committee had been set up on the issue to develop political consensus as no single party is in a position to bring constitutional amendment to pave the way for the creation of South Punjab province.

He said that the committee will hold consultations and will come up with solid recommendations. “These will be put before other opposition parties and we request them to rise above politics and make decision based on objective reality and needs of the people.”

A local media outlet reported that South Punjab Secretariat under an additional chief secretary would be constituted as a first step in creating South Punjab province, the Executive Council on Creation of South Punjab agreed in its first meeting.

Final decision on the matter, however, will be taken by Prime Minister Imran Khan.

The secretariat would either be established in Multan or Bahawalpur.

On a question, Qureshi said that the All Parties Conference (APC) of the opposition should be meaningful and not focused on saving someone. “I don’t understand APC’s agenda, it seems like a programme to save themselves.”

On another question, he said that he does not see any possibility of governor’s rule in Sindh and it is baseless news.

He further said that the accountability institutions are not dictated by the government and that no one is being pressurised.

“We want the process of accountability to continue,” he said, adding that “accountability institutions are not dictated by the government and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari is aware that we are not pressuring anyone”.

Furthermore, the foreign minister said, “Pakistan’s problems were not created in the last 60 days, even the nation knows what this country’s issues are.”