Bukhari proposes 6 names to NA Speaker

Chairman Senate Syed Nayyer Hussain Bukhari

ISLAMABAD: Having remained silent for months, the government on Friday revived the drive to create new provinces out of Punjab with Chairman Senate Syed Nayyer Hussain Bukhari proposing six senators’ names to Speaker National Assembly Dr Fehmida Mirza for constitution of a 14-member commission for creation of new provinces.

The move seems to be politically-motivated and convincingly connected to the upcoming general polls.The names of the six senators have been proposed in the light of proportion of parliamentary parties representing the Upper House of the Parliament. According to Senate Secretariat sources, the names have been proposed after senior PPP leader and Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Syed Khurshid Shah Wednesday held a meeting with Chairman Senate in presence of secretaries of Senate and National Assembly.

The chairman senate has proposed two names from the ruling Pakistan People’s Party, and one name each from Awami National Party (ANP), Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam- Fazl (JUI-F), Pakistan Muslim League -Nawaz and Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid-i-Azam. The list has been forwarded to National Assembly Secretariat. The proposed names include Senator Farhatullah Babar and Senator Sughra Imam from PPP, Senator Haji Adeel from ANP, Senator Kamil Ali Agha from PML-Q, Senator Abdul Ghafoor Haideri from JUI-F and Senator Malik Rafique Rajwana from PML-N.

Senator Farhatullah Babar, spokesman to the President, while talking to TheNation confirmed that chairman senate had proposed six names for the commission including his name and the speaker would further notify the commission.Earlier, Punjab Assembly and National Assembly had separately passed resolutions with majority of vote for the creation of two new provinces in Punjab.As a result of which, President Asif Ali Zardari sent a reference to the Speaker National Assembly Dr Fehmida Mirza on May 31 asking for the constitution of a commission comprising legislators, six each from Senate as well as National Assembly, and two members from the Punjab Assembly to look into issues related to the creation of two new provinces.

President Asif Ali Zardari on July 11 had written a letter to NA Speaker asking her to form a 14-member commission to submit its recommendations for the creation of new province of South Punjab and revival of provincial status for Bahawalpur.“In order to implement the aforesaid resolutions and before a process is initiated to amend the constitution in terms of Article 239 thereof, it is expedient that a commission may be constituted comprising six members from the Senate to be nominated by the chairman, six members from National Assembly to be nominated by the speaker and two members from the provincial assembly of Punjab to be nominated by the speaker of the Provincial Assembly of Punjab,” President had said in the letter sent to the NA Speaker.

The letter had said that the commission would look into the issues relating to the fair distribution of economic and financial resources, demarcation, allocation as well as readjustment of seats in the National Assembly, Senate and the concerned provincial assembly and allocation of seats in the new province on basis of population, including seats of minorities and women and other constitutional, legal and administrative matters.The letter had further said that the commission would submit its report to the Speaker as well as to the Prime Minster within thirty days of its notification in the official gazette, which would be followed by initiation of the process of amendment of the constitution. – Nation