Pakistan to bifurcate Punjab to create new South Punjab province: Shah Mehmood Qureshi

The Pakistan government is going ahead with its plan to create the new South Punjab province by bifurcating Punjab and would move a bill in the National Assembly, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi announced on Wednesday.

Punjab is Pakistan’s second largest province by area after Balochistan. It is also the most populated province and politically influential. In the run-up to the 2018 general election, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf ( party led by Imran Khan had promised to bifurcate Punjab province to form South Punjab.

The South Punjab province will comprise Multan, Bahawalpur and Dera Ghazi Khan districts, Qureshi told reporters in Multan, Punjab.

The Punjab Assembly seats will be reduced to 251 from the current 371 while 120 seats have been proposed for the South Punjab Assembly in the bill.

Qureshi said that certain constitutional amendments have to be passed for the formation of the new South Punjab province.

The region will turn into a province when amendments to Articles 59, 51, 1, 106, 158 and 218 of the Constitution are passed.

“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 was quoted as saying by the Express Tribune.

“The province will come into being through Article 51, it calls for the separate formation of the assembly. South Punjab will also