On the promises of the south Punjab province, JSPM unites with Imran Khan (PTI). The Junoobi Punjab Sooba Mahaaz (JPSM), a recently created organization made up primarily of former PML-N MPs from south Punjab, has announced its merger with the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, which is a dreaded development for the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).
The merger, which was announced on Wednesday at a press conference attended by both Imran Khan, the chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, and Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar, the head of the JPSM, was made contingent upon the PTI taking “practical and tangible steps for the creation of South Punjab as a separate province” within 100 days of assuming power.
On April 9, approximately two dozen current and former members of the National Assembly and the Punjab Assembly announced launching a new political front, the JPSM, after resigning from their respective positions.
The establishment of a new province made up entirely of the south Punjab region, a demand long made by those who live in Punjab’s most impoverished area, was declared to be the only goal of this new political front.
Eight lawmakers have abandoned the PML-N.
The PTI leadership made the official announcement on Wednesday while maintaining constant communication with the JPSM. All sides agreed on a six-point charter before the press conference, which mainly focuses on the actions to be taken to create the new province and improve local citizens’ lives.
Five MNAs from the PML-N, namely Khusro Bakhtiar, Muhammad Tahir Bashir, Tahir Iqbal Chaudhry, Muhammad Qasim Noon, and Basit Bokhari, have announced they’re joining the PTI. They all resigned from their positions in the National Assembly last month.
They also consist of eight former MNAs and MPAs; six PML-N MPAs from the Punjab Assembly; one from the Bahawalpur National Awami Party; and six other MPAs. They had all continued to be active members of the PML-N, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid, and even the PTI.
Speaking at the event, the PTI chairman pledged that if his party won, he would speed up the creation of the province of South Punjab and the union of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (K-P).
Even if it won’t be simple, we pledge to that. This will be our cause, and we’ll move things along quickly. His conviction led him to support the creation of a new province, not a political choice, he claimed.
While others before me may have made a similar commitment, I am adamant that a federation only gains strength when the federating units are proud to be a part of the country. “I think managing large units is quite challenging,” he continued.
Surprised by a newfound adoration for the province of South Punjab: Nawaz
Adding that although the 18th constitutional amendment gave provinces more authority, “the powers are grabbed by the chief ministers of the provinces and not handed to local government representatives,” Khan stated that the PTI wants actual devolution of power by establishing new federating units.
He added that former East Pakistan was divided as a result of such policies and that “it’s vital to devolve power in real terms.” He claimed that the concentration of power in Lahore had created a profound sense of deprivation in south Punjab.
The PTI commits that this will be our cause moving forward, and to that end, the party will organize a committee that will develop a detailed strategy to carry out this duty.
The PTI leader proposed reviving the Asghar Ali Khan case to identify these “aliens” in response to allegations made by the ousted premier Nawaz Sharif about their involvement in national politics. He made the joke that Nawaz Sharif, Shahbaz Sharif, and Javed Hashmi had received funding from foreigners.
Following its 2012 decision in the Asghar Ail Khan case about the alleged funding of several politicians, including Sharif, by the nation’s establishment before the 1990 national elections, the supreme court has ordered the government to act.
The JPSM’s president, Bakhtiar, claimed that the PTI’s election platform, which was unveiled during a rally in Lahore, included the demand for the creation of a province that they had made on April 9.
“All federating units need to increase their level of internal cohesion.” According to him, this will be the first time a new province is founded, and the action will bring about equilibrium among the federating units.
He criticized the PML-N, alleging that while it controlled south Punjab, its residents were never given their due respect. “The only glimmer of hope for Pakistanis, especially the people in south Punjab,” he said of the PTI leader Imran Khan.
“Joining PTI was the only alternative for us as the rest of the political parties [including] PPP and PML-N had been in power but never showed seriousness to alleviate south Punjab woes,” he continued.
One of Imran Khan’s eleven points includes the South Punjab Province: Bakhtiar
At the news conference, Bakhtiar addressed the crowd and stated, “We submitted our case for a separate province on April 9, and Imran Khan, while presenting his 11-point agenda, mentioned that South Punjab will be made into a separate province in his eighth point.”
Bakhtiar lamented that the PML-N had ignored their requests for a separate province and asked, “So who should we have gone to?”
He added that the PPP “had raised the cry for a separate South Punjab province but failed to keep its word.”
“Imran Khan and I have chosen to join forces,” the former PML-N MP stated.
Bakhtiar added that his family had lived in South Punjab for around 800 years. We have experienced numerous injustices, “he continued.”
When in the last five years, the South Punjab province demanded PML-N official
PML-N leader Maize Hameed reacted to the press conference by asking, “When did they want a separate province for South Punjab in the last five years?”
She asked, “Did anyone witness these folks on TV or holding press conferences to demand a south province earlier?” in a statement to Geo News.
When they needed money for their regions, “they were with PML-N,” claimed Hameed.
The Rahim Yar Khan-born PML-N leader remarked, “They should have held talks within the party if they had difficulties.”
“These are the kinds of people who transfer parties because they realize, owing to their own corruption and acts, they are losing ground and their chances of winning are small,” continued Hameed as he continued to criticize the defectors.
Why was there no discussion on the inadequacy of resources allocated to South Punjab during the previous five years? She further questioned
The PML-N leader continued, “As far as I’m aware, South Punjab has received the lion’s share of resources.”
“South Punjab built universities, hospitals, and highways,” she continued.
A public campaign called Junoobi Punjab Suba Mahaaz has been launched by the MPs from South Punjab, who left the ruling party last month and announced plans to create a separate province in the region.
Imran has added his voice to the PTI’s support for the proposal for a separate province.
South Punjab will become a distinct province if eight PML-N lawmakers resign from the party.
To develop a shared election plan, the MPs had been meeting with a PTI delegation led by its senior leader from the area, Shah Mahmood Qureshi.
The actions also prompted a response from the ruling party; as a result, the prime minister and Punjab chief minister announced development plans and highlighted the government’s welfare projects there, showing their support for the area.