PTI seeks support of PPP, PML-N for South Punjab bill

MULTAN: The Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said on Wednesday that the South Punjab bill has been introduced by the government in the National Assembly and added that it seeks the help of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) to get it passed.

The Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said during a news conference that the bill moved by the government of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) would require changes in Articles 1, 51, 59,106,198,218 of the Constitution.

Shah Mehmood Qureshi said “We have to make the amendments to make South Punjab province a reality.”

It was further added by the Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi that the government of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) had contacted Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and other parties in Parliament over the province of South Punjab as two-thirds majority was needed.

The Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that “I have contacted senior Parliamentarians from PPP as they also had the stance for South Punjab…I have told them to work together to make this a reality and have received a positive response from them.”

The FM Shah Mehmood Qureshi further added that the South Punjab province was supported by the members of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) but there were others who were stuck on the bill they had presented in the past. Shah Mehmood Qureshi added “We will also speak to the PML-N and I will request them to review their decision and let South Punjab be formed. They [PML-N] need to be practical as a province of three districts is not possible.”

The vote of two-thirds of the parliamentarians is required to be in favour for any constitutional amendment. The national assembly, lower house of Pakistan, has 342 seats in total that means the 228 votes are needed by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf in order to get its way.

The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has 84 members in the parliament whereas; the government of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has 54 members in the parliament. So, in order to get the bill approved, the government of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf would only need the support of the Pakistan Peoples Party, if the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) opts to stay out of the vote count. The support of Pakistan Peoples Party will also be required in the Senate where the party has an upper hand already before the bill becomes a law.

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