By Ali Imran
ISLAMABAD: Any attempt to sabotage the administrative autonomy of South Punjab will meet tough resistance by political workers and the 40 million locals, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said on Tuesday.
“We will ensure complete transfer of power in South Punjab,” Qureshi said while attending through video-link the meeting on administrative affairs of South Punjab. Qureshi said South Punjab was included in the manifesto of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf by Prime Minister Imran Khan after consultations with him.
He mentioned that the demand for provincial autonomy of South Punjab was not based on linguistic or political, but on administrative basis. He termed the notification of March 30 a conspiracy against power devolution in South Punjab and was a continuity of the previous such attempts.
Qureshi regretted that no strategy had been formulated to define expenditure of Rs 4 billion allocated for South Punjab and called upon bureaucracy to adopt seriousness in this regard. How many of Secretaries and Inspectors General visited the districts of South Punjab, he raised a question in the meeting. The foreign minister said Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman had a golden opportunity to ensure implementation of the process leading towards autonomy of South Punjab.
He lauded the members of National and provincial assemblies and ministers hailing from South Punjab to reject the ‘conspiracy’ of notification. He mentioned that Pakistan Peoples Party and Pakistan Muslim League made promises for the establishment of South Punjab province, however demonstrated hypocrisy later. He said Prime Minister Imran Khan would visit Lahore on Friday, where 33 members of Parliament would join a meeting with him.
Earlier, Finance Minister Punjab Makhdoom Hashim Jawan Bakht welcomed the foreign minister in the meeting. The Additional Chief Secretary Punjab briefed the participants about administrative matters of South Punjab Secretariat.
Earlier, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi called on Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar at his office on Monday and discussed with him south Punjab and various other issues.
The chief minister (CM) shared with the foreign minister the south Punjab secretariat matters and steps taken in that regard. He said that south Punjab would witness record development during the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government. He said that the share of south Punjab in schools’ up-gradation would be 38 per cent. The CM said people gave a thumping majority to the PTI in south Punjab and the defeated elements were spreading propaganda against the government like scrapping of the south Punjab secretariat plans by the government.