Is Imran Khan planning another U-turn ?    | Pakistan Today

Is Imran Khan planning another U-turn ?   

  • Is Imran Khan  planning another U-turn ?   

Compared to central and northern Punjab,  the southern region of the province  has remained  underdeveloped in terms of infrastructure, education and health facilities. Many in the region think that with  a separate provincial assembly  comprising  representatives  from their region alone  and a  provincial government machinery manned by those who understand  Seraiki languge,  their  problems can be resolved  more efficiently. The demand for a separate province is therefore understandable.

Political parties including the PTI however  raise the demand more as a political slogan to gain power than out of a genuine desire  to resolve the issues faced by the Seraiki people.  Benazir Bhutto supported  the creation of a separate province for South Punjab  but the PPP which got NWFP renamed  Khyber Pukhtukhwa and pioneered the passage of the 18th amendment through a historic consensus  failed to redeem BB’s pledge to the Seraiki people. While the PML-N   worked hard to make FATA a part of KP at the cost of alienating  JUI-F, it did not lift a finger to create South Punjab  province in disregard of its promises.

Imran Khan constituted a special committee way back in May to formulate a strategy for the creation of a separate South Punjab province. The idea was to lure the Janoobi Punjab Suba Mahaz leaders into PTI. The turncoats that joined his party never spoke a word of support for the province after getting ministerial posts. The PTI did  nothing  during its first hundred days other than appointing yet another committee to achieve consensus  in the NA. As every offer by  the opposition to support the government on commonly  agreed  points  was described as attempts at  achieving an NRO, the PTI miserably failed to build bridges in the NA .

The PTI wants somehow or other to wriggle out of its commitment  to carve out the South Punjab province. Party leaders like Arif Alvi are talking about new difficulties in creating the province like  the government’s current priorities. Foreign Minister Qureshi says  the plan   has encountered some legal hindrances.  One way to get rid of the albatross is it to hand over the matter to another committee thus  following in the footsteps of Shahbaz Sharif who forgot the South Punjab province after pep talk  about establishing  the so called  South Punjab mini-secretariat.