Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Wednesday said that the constitution would have to be amended for carving out a new south Punjab province.
“Southern Punjab province will comprise Multan, Bahawalpur and Dera Ghazi Khan districts,” Qureshi said while addressing reporters in Multan.
He said that the Punjab Assembly seats will eventually amount to 251 with the amendments in the constitutional amendment bill, while 120 seats for Southern Punjab Assembly have been proposed in the bill.
“The region will turn into a province when amendments to Articles 59, 51, 1, 106, 158 and 218 of the Constitution will be undertaken,” Qureshi said.
“The word ‘South Punjab’ in the first paragraph of Article 1 will be inducted, and the territories that will be part of south Punjab have been named in the proposed bill,” he added.
“The province will come into being through Article 51, it calls for the separate formation of assembly. South Punjab will also get representation in the Senate.”
The foreign minister further said that the speaker will formulate a special committee for consent on the bill. “We require co-operation of different parties for a two-thirds majority,” said Qureshi.
Qureshi said that he had held a meeting with Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) leadership. “I request them to support us as it is in our joint interests and a part of the PTI manifesto.”
“We believe it strengthens a federation, and have decided to hold political dialogue with like-minded political parties.”
Qureshi also requested the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) to support the bill.
“I am hopeful they will review their attitude over it,” the foreign minister said.