President of Pakistan on Division of Punjab:
Daily Times: Thursday, July 02, 2009
Punjab not to be divided: Zardari
LAHORE: President Asif Ali Zardari, in a message to the Punjab Assembly (PA), has said he is against any kind of division of Punjab, and the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) will not let any such conspiracy foster. Finance Minister Tanveer Ashraf Kaira read out the message of the president in the PA on Wednesday, saying for a few days the division of Punjab was in the air and an impression had developed that the PPP wanted it. He said the president, also the co-chairman of the PPP, in his message had clarified he was against any division of Punjab. Kaira said the president had also mentioned they wanted to move forward through amicable resolution of issues. The president also said each province would be given its constitutional rights. The MPAs from Southern and Northern Punjab have been demanding a division of Punjab on administrative grounds. They demanded that the province be divided into three parts to ensure that the people of Southern and Northern Punjab are not neglected. A few MPAs termed the demand for a divided Punjab a conspiracy against Pakistan and said it was not the right time to make such demands. staff report
Prime Minister of Pakistan on Division of Punjab:
PM Gilani rules out formation of more provinces
Dawn: Friday, 03 Jul, 2009 | 03:49 PM PST | ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani on Friday ruled out the creation of more provinces by the division of Punjab, saying that it would open up a new ‘Pandora’s box.’
Talking to reporters after presiding over the convocation at a girls’ college here, he observed that the country cannot afford such ventures at such a critical juncture when the country was facing external as well as internal threats.
He said the politicians coming up with such ideas should realize the gravity of the situation. He said it was responsibility of all to help strengthen the federation in these challenging times instead of destabilizing it.
He pointed out that creation of more provinces required constitutional amendment, which does not seem possible as political parties had divergent views on the issue.
The idea of creation of more provinces had recently been floated by former Information Minister Senator Muhammad Ali Durrani, who also submitted a bill in the Senate Secretariat seeking to amend the Constitution and help facilitate the process of creating new provinces with a simple majority in the parliament.
Durrani, who actively propagated his brainchild in various talk shows believes that cutting Punjab to create more provinces would make the units manageable. Former Prime Minister Zafaruluuah Khan Jamali also proposed creation of three more provinces including a Seraiki province by dividing Punjab into more federating units. The Pakistan Muslim League (N), the ruling party in the largest province instantly rejected the idea, calling it a conspiracy to destabilize Punjab government.
Gilani said Pakistan wanted to maintain friendly relations with all its neighbours including India and Afghanistan. About his possible meeting with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the upcoming summit of Non Aligned Movement (NAM) in Sharm-El-Sheikh, Egypt, this month, the Prime Minister hoped that the outcome would be positive. He said the meeting would be an opportunity to strengthen relations between two countries.
The Prime Minister did not deny or confirm reports that Mullah Fazlullah had been seriously injured in an attack by security forces, and merely said it was the domain of Interior Minister.
Responding to a question about the ongoing military operation in Malakand division, Gilani said the success achieved in securing the area from terrorists was a result of enormous sacrifices rendered by the Pakistan army. ‘We did not secure the area for free. It was due to our jawans who laid down their lives to secure a better future for all of us,’ he remarked.
He said a military cantonment would be established in Swat and the capacity of law enforcing agencies in the NWFP would be enhanced after the completion of the operation.
The Prime Minister, who had recently expressed fears about a possible influx of Taliban in Pakistan in the wake of increase in the strength of US forces in Afghanistan, while answering a question about US forces’ operation in Helmand province said the government would take all possible measures to guard national interests and prevent instability of the country.
Earlier, speaking at the convocation, the Prime Minister said the military action in Swat and adjoining areas will continue till decisive victory against the militants.
He said the Government will start a massive development effort in the tribal regions after the conclusion of the military action. He said this would help bring the long neglected tribal belt into the national mainstream. ‘Let there be no doubt about our resolve and commitment in this regard,’ he remarked.
Gilani said the army had already cleared major parts of Swat of militants, and the military operation was likely to be completed in the near future, paving the way for an early return of internally displaced persons (IDPs) to their homes. The government will provide sufficient assistance to the returnees for their rehabilitation.
He said steps were already underway to restore and rehabilitate the destroyed infrastructure and civic amenities. Civil administration is returning to the area to take up its responsibility. He expressed the confidence that the situation in Swat will soon be back to normal.
Nawaz Sharif; PML(N)
Division of Punjab should be discussed in parliament: Nawaz
APP: July 3, 2009.
LONDON: The demand for the division of Punjab into smaller provinces is a constitutional matter and should be discussed in parliament, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) chief Nawaz Sharif said on Friday. Expressing his disappointment over the current political situation in the country, the PML-N chief called for bringing those responsible for the mess to justice. Talking to reporters at a reception hosted in London for the party’s United Kingdom-based workers, Nawaz said former president Pervez Musharraf’s eight-year rule had proven disastrous for the country. “Pakistan is now reaping the fruit of the former dictator’s flawed policies and the country, instead of moving forward, has regressed and its problems multiplied.” He said had the country adhered to constitutional norms since 1947, the present problems would not have arisen and it would have been a modern and progressive nation. Senior PML-N leaders Ghaus Ali Shah, Ashraf Chohan, PML-N UK Chief Zubair Gul and others attended the meeting. Nawaz said efforts should be made to bring total democracy to the country and run it on merit and in accordance with the constitution and the Charter of Democracy, which was signed after two years of sustained efforts.