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Big upset for PML-N as eight lawmakers from south Punjab part ways

LAHORE: Eight members of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) on Monday announced to dissociate with the ruling party and form ‘Junubi Punjab Sooba Muhaz’ party demanding to give south Punjab a status of a separate province, ARY News reported.

This announcement comes at a time when the PML-N government finds itself facing multiple crises. The process of dismemberment in the PML-N has expedited as angry members of the governing party from south Punjab in a press conference announced dissociation from the party.

They announced former acting prime minister Balakh Sher Mazari as their party head.

“The purpose behind calling our press conference today is announcement for establishment of new province to fortify the federation,” they said in the jointly-held presser.

The dissidents include six MNAs and two MPAs namely Samiullah Chaudhry, Rana Qasim Noon, Tahir Iqbal, Asghar Ali Shah, Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar, Tahir Bashir Cheema, Sardar Nasrullah Idreeshak and Makhdoom Basit Bukhari. The MNAs on the spot announced resignation from the national assembly.

Khusro Bakhtiar said they were united on one political ideological agenda and their main purpose was carving out the province of southern Punjab. He said his demand was supported by more than 10 MPAs of Punjab and over five MNAs.

He highlighted the plights of the dwellers of the region who once were the most prosperous people of the country, when Pakistan came into being.

“However, now we lack basic necessities and public sector investment. The ratio of employment in government services from south Punjab is way below what it should be compared with other parts of the province,” he said.

Read More: PPP to free south Punjab from ‘throne of Raiwand,’ says Bilawal

Rana Qasim Noon said no political party could win elections without their support in the region.

“When miseries grow, disappointments also rise.”

Basheer Cheema said the goal of establishment of new administrative unit was not promoting ethnicity, but future of people of the region was connected with this decision. Tahir Iqbal found resolution of issues of southern Punjab in new province.

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