ISLAMABAD: In a serious blow to the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N), more than a dozen lawmakers from south Punjab, who recently parted ways with the ruling party, on Wednesday announced their decision to join the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI).
Janoobi Punjab Suba Mahaz (South Punjab Province Front) leader and MNA Khusro Bakhtiar made the announcement at a joint press conference alongside PTI chief Imran Khan following an agreement reached between the two sides for launching forceful struggle for creation of a separate administrative unit in south Punjab.
According to the agreement, a copy of which is available with ARY News, JPSM’s demand for a separate province has been made part of the PTI’s 11-point manifesto. The division of Punjab is indispensable for fair distribution of resources and development of the southern region, says the pact.
Imran Khan welcomed the amalgamation of JPSM into the PTI and said a sense of deprivation among the people of small provinces has been rising. A lion’s share of the budget was being spent on Lahore, he added.
He said it is imperative to carve out a separate administrative unit in south Punjab to solve the issues plaguing the people of the region.
He announced that his party will create a new province in south Punjab after coming into power and will also struggle for merger of Fata of with KP province.
Khusro Bakhtiar said south Punjab has been meted out injustice for decades. The people of the region have decided that they no longer wanted to live a marginalized life.
He said the lawmakers from the region had no option but to join the Imran Khan-led party as both PPP and PML-N have ignored the region.
The PPP was not serious about ensuring provision of rights to the people of the region, whereas the PML-N divided the people of the province, he said.
Bakhtiar said the rulers, who were elected to Parliament from the region, also failed to solve the problems facing the region.