Babar elected interim chairman of commission on new provinces

Senator Farhatullah Babar
Senator Farhatullah Babar

ISLAMABAD: With Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) members boycotting the proceedings of the first sitting of the newly-formed commission on creation of new provinces in Punjab, the commission members unanimously elected senior leader of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Senator Farhatullah Babar as their “interim chairman” at Parliament House on Tuesday.

The commission held its maiden meeting which was attended by nine out of twelve nominated members of the commission, as the three nominated PML-N members did not attend the meeting. During the meeting, Babar’s name for the chairmanship was proposed by Jamshed Dasti, and seconded by other members.The National Assembly secretary conducted the election of the chairman. Senator Farhatullah Babar thanked his fellow parliamentarians for reposing confidence in him by electing him the chairman. He assured the members of the commission that he would make all efforts to come up to their expectations and make proceedings of the commission purposeful and result oriented with their support.

Other members of the committee individually congratulated him on becoming the chairman of the commission and assured their all out support.The meeting also discussed the terms of reference (ToRs) of the commission while its functioning mechanism was also discussed. Later, it was decided that a sub-committee be formed to deliberate upon the working mechanism and framing rules for the commission.The commission will meet again today (Wednesday) to finalize its rules.

On the behalf of NA Speaker Dr Fehmida Mirza, and Deputy Speaker Faisal Karim Kundi, the NA secretary congratulated Babar on his election and assured all out support of the National Assembly Secretariat for smooth functioning of the commission.A member who attended the meeting told Pakistan Today that Babar was elected the interim chairman of the commission as the body was still incomplete. He said the Punjab Assembly speaker had yet to nominate its two nominees per terms of reference (ToRs) set for the commission.

Moreover, he said the PML-N members did not attend the proceedings, adding that once the commission was complete, the body would again meet to decide its chairman.Earlier, the PML-N had raised questions over the formation of the commission, arguing the inclusion of members of the Awami National Party and Mutahidda Qaumi Movement in the commission, as both the parties had no representation in the Punjab Assembly. – PT