ISLAMABAD - The lawmakers from Southern Punjab, who contested in general elections with identity of Janoobi Punjab Suba Mahaz (JPSM), are losing hopes to carve out southern Punjab province in the current government tenure.

Though these parliamentarians have been facing pressure from the people of their constituencies for a separate province, yet no serious efforts have been made for legislation on it.

The carving of a new province out of the existing Punjab had remained hot topic only in the initial days of the PTI’s government in the national assembly.

As, these MPs have even not raised demand of separate province on ‘point of order’ in the national assembly during last six months.

Whereas, the process requires constitutional amendment in parliament with 2/3 majority in the favour of southern province.

Janoobi Punjab Suba Mahaz losing hopes to carve out southern Punjab province in the current govt tenure

“The demand of new province is genuine. Constitutional hitches are the real cause behind it,” said MNA from Southern Punjab Sardar Riaz Mehmood, talking to The Nation.

The formation of southern Punjab will resolve the longstanding issues of the people of this area. “I am optimistic about the formation of new province but it could only be resolved but it seriously needs unity,” he said.

The discussion, about carving of a new southern province, in the parliament has always remained inconclusive, as no practical steps proposed.

As some of them [mainly from Bhawalpur area] were in favour of reviving the status of former Bhawalpur state.

The discussion on new province has always created a divide in treasury benches of national assembly.

Talking to The Nation, former lawmakers Alamdar Qureshi said that the movement of new province has died down with the passage of time.

“Now, we can say it was only a political slogan,” said former MP, an active member of Janoobi Punjab Suba Mahaz (JPSM).

He said that there were no serious efforts for the formation of new province.

Leader of opposition Shehbaz Sharif, in the national assembly, had once initiated debate for new province.

He had proposed restoration of former Bahawalpur state with the creation of Southern Punjab province.

The MNAs from the area had discussed it in the house for some days as later they showed disinterest in it.

Some of the lawmakers, desiring not to be named, they were facing problems to satisfy people from their areas about question of separate province as it was the main slogan during the election campaign.

The people of the area, in different gatherings, have now been reminding about the claims made.

The creation of a new province would definitely be much important for next general elections, they said.

Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar six months before had formed executive committees at federal and provincial levels for the creation of South Punjab province on administrative grounds.

Whereas, independent secretariat for the province has yet not formed despite the pledges.

Political experts believed the opposition has confused the issue by demanding the restoration of Bahawalpur province.

The PTI’s government has to resolve the issue related to restoration of Bahawalpur province, as without the support of opposition it could not be formed.