ISLAMABAD - The presidential reference, seeking formation of a commission for carving out new provinces South Punjab and Bhawalpur, to speaker National Assembly Dr Fehmida Mirza is still pending without any action since its receipt around a month before.

“No action has been taken on the presidential reference seeking the formation of a commission for new provinces,” sources in National Assembly Secretariat told TheNation.

The reference sent by President Asif Ali Zardari to the speaker National Assembly says that the commission, which will have six senators, six MNAs and two members from the Punjab Assembly (PA), will look into issues relating to the creation of the Multan and Bahawalpur provinces in Punjab and initiate the process of amendments in the Constitution for the purpose.

According to the reference, members of the commission will be nominated by the chairman and National Assembly speaker. The commission will see the matter related to fair distribution of economic and financial resources, demarcation, allocation/re-adjustment of seats in the National Assembly, Senate and the concerned provincial assembly.

Sources said that the former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani during his premiership had made efforts to convince his party to go for Seraiki province. However, the former PM could not properly convince his ‘strong’ party members

It is relevant to mention here that adopting a timely move to put the main opposition party – PML-N - into trouble, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), with support of its coalition partners, brought a resolution in favour of new provinces in the National Assembly (NA). After this resolution, Gilani also went to say that if new provinces were not formed in his era then when would it happen. 

The former prime minister had reportedly also tasked Seraiki nationalist leader Barrister Taj Mohammad Khan Langah and asked him to mobilise public opinion for creation of Seraiki province.

Sharing the mechanism of the very commission, the Presidential spokesperson Farhatullah Babar had told that the commission would submit a report to the speaker and the prime minister within a month, which will then be followed by the process of constitutional amendments.

The reference draws the attention of the speaker to resolutions passed by the national and the Punjab assemblies calling for the creation of new provinces, he added.