Shehbaz puts PTI to test over new provinces’ promise


–NA Opp leader tells NA PML-N is ready to extend full cooperation to govt for creation of South Punjab province, restoration of Bahawalpur province

–House passes unanimous resolution for constitution of Public Accounts Committee, Standing Committee on Law and Justice


ISLAMABAD: Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday told the National Assembly that his party was ready to extend full cooperation for the creation of south Punjab province, adding that they will also support the “restoration of Bahawalpur as a province”.

Taking the floor, he said his party is considering to table a private bill for this purpose. The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) president reminded that the PTI government had promised to create South Punjab province, asking the ruling party to take practical steps in this regard.

He said in the past, his government had passed resolutions in the Punjab Assembly for the creation of the ‘South Punjab’ and restoration of Bahawalpur province.

Shehbaz stressed that his party is sincere to this cause and the treasury benches should also move forward with the same spirit.

When PTI lawmaker Amir Dogar alleged the opposition of doing “point scoring” on the issue, Shehbaz responded by saying, “This is not point scoring. Don’t talk about the past or Pandora’s box will open […] support the private bill [for the creation of the province].”

Dogar further claimed that the PML-N was twisting the issue by demanding the restoration of Bahawalpur province. “The Bahawalpur province is not viable, how can three districts be declared as a separate province,” he said, adding that a committee of the House should be constituted to look into the matter.

PPP leader Raja Pervaiz Ashraf said that all the political parties had promised for the creation of south Punjab province and that no “point scoring” should be done in this regard.

PML-Q lawmaker Tariq Bashir Cheema said Bahawalpur is a separate entity and it has nothing to do with the creation of ‘South Punjab’. He said his party wants restoration of the Bahawalpur province instead of making it a part of south Punjab.

Meanwhile, the opposition leader raised concerns over the increasing prices of gas, electricity and daily use items, suggesting that the house should take up this matter on a priority basis.

He also thanked National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser for the issuance of production orders for PML-N lawmaker and former railways minister Khawaja Saad Rafique.


The House also passed a unanimous resolution for the constitution of Public Accounts Committee and Standing Committee on Law and Justice.

The motion was moved by Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan.

Syed Fakhar Iman, Sardar Nasrullah Khan Dreshak, Akhtar Mengal, Riaz Fatyana, Malik Amir Dogar, Munaza Hassan, Noor Alam Khan, Khawaja Sheraz Mahmood, Iqbal Muhammad Ali Khan, Ali Nawaz Shah, Hussain Ilahi, Ijaz Ahmed Shah, Raja Riaz, Mian Shehbaz Sharif, Khawaja Asif, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, Rana Tanvir Hussain, Sheikh Rohail Asghar, Shahid Akhter Ali, Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, Syed Naveed Qamar, Syed Hussain Tariq and Hina Rabbani Khar will be members of the public accounts committee.

Law and justice committee comprises Advocate Attaullah, Lal Chand Malhi, Farooq Azam Malik, Kishwer Zehra, Maleeka Bukhari, Sanaullah Masti Khel, Ihsanullah Tiwana, Agha Hassan Baloch, Sheikh Ali Arbab, Shunila Ruth, Riaz Fatyana, Shehbaz Sharif, Rana Sanaullah, Mehmood Bashir Virk, Usman Ibrahim, Khawaja Saad Rafique, Syed Hussain Tariq, Nafisa Shah, Naveed Qamar and Aliya Kamran.

Members of the committees concerned will elect their respective chairpersons.