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Fragmenting Punjab: vested interests


AIR CMDRE (r) ISHTIAQ AHMAD KHAN Chaillianwala
MUCH has been written about the division of the province of Punjab. Ironically, no Punjabi has clearly spoken against the bifurcation of the province.
Presumably, those political groups/parties that see their demise in the upcoming elections in Punjab have raised this issue to grab some legislative seats from south Punjab/Bhawalpur.
The proponents of the province are those who don’t even have any representation in the Punjab Assembly and belong to other provinces.

The people in the plains of Punjab settled between the rivers called Do Aabas. Their language is Punjabi, their dress code and culture are similar. The language affinity is Punjabi; Saraiki is only a dialect as is Potohari, Pahari, Chakwali, or Tallagangi. Some simple steps, such as mentioned below, can be taken to solve the problem:
Create a provincial finance commission represented in equal number from each revenue division of Punjab; distribute the public-sector development budget on some formula like poverty and backwardness.

Public sector development should take place through elected divisional councils, the members of which are chairmen of district councils/tehsil councils. Chairmen of district councils should be rotated as divisional chairmen on a yearly basis. Projects should be executed through commissioners/deputy commissioners for transparency.
A district should generate local revenues also from within the district.

Cities/towns should be looked after by city/town municipalities. The province should contribute to mega projects.
High courts should be established in each division headquarters with six judges under the chief justice of Punjab. Each division should have a registry for land records in addition to district headquarters.

The regional police officer should coordinate with the divisional council chairman to curb crime, and improve the law and order situation in each district. The police must be independent operationally and logistically.

Curtsy:DAWN.COM Published MARch 03, 2013



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