By Tabish Abbasi
New Provinces in Pakistan – a slogan which is been used by different Political parties and Politicians for their Personal gains. Historically, there’s a persistent demand for new Provinces in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan on different grounds. In 1990s, Jinnahpur province was demanded, the suggestion was there to add Hyderabad and Karachi to formulate a new province named Jinnah-Pur. The princely state of Bahawalpur is also demanded to be new province. After 2010 there was a rise in voices for Hazara Province – In 2021-13 , Saraiki Province was demanded. But , the main issue has been the basis and grounds on which New provinces were demanded. Either basis are ethnic, linguistic or Administrative.
In the history of the world, Provinces are always formed by certain standards – Resources in that particular area , Population in that area etc .
For example, when Punjab was divided in 1947, 35% of Punjab went in Hindustan while the remaining 65% in Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Indian Punjab has 3 Provinces while in Pakistan , Punjab has 1 provinces ( even having area two times higher than Indian Punjab) . According to critics, the Reason of no addition in Provinces in islamic Republic of Pakistan are many , But , major ones are influence of Bureaucracy, lack of will and power of Centre , fear of conversion of Majority into Minority in specific area ,etc.
With issues in Balochistan , due to influence of Indians to sabotage CPEC and to support separatist movements , peace is mainly at stake . After kulbushan Jadav’s arrests presence and interests of India are in front of the world to sabotage peace and prosperity in Balochistan.
With this present scenario in Balochistan and in a few areas of Sindh, it’s always thought that adding more provinces couldn’t be “feasible” at present. Politicians used “New Provinces” as their card in elections, so there is a chance that to make their voters satisfied, these are just slogans, the process would be initiated but may not reach to final destination.
In Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Addition of new province is defined as per Constitution. Province which is to be divided for the new province, Relevant Provincial assembly would pass a resolution in the favour of the new province – then this resolution would be sent to Governor of the Province , who then will send it to the President of the country. President then would pass it to the speaker of National Assembly , who will formulate a parliamentary committee to check Pros and Cons of new province , that has to be formulated. After passing through all this process , Centre would take initiative then .
Like in 2012 , by combining Saraiki belt and Bahawalpur to form “Central Punjab Province” – proposal was denied was by the Parliamentary committee formulated by Speaker of National Assembly, which put full stop to the line of New Province then .
There’s is a question mark , either Islamic Republic of Pakistan must go for new provinces or not ! The answer is may be not . Basis of demand of every province is wrong (either linguistic, ethnic etc.) , Creation of new province is expensive phenomena in itself ( when NWFP was names as KPK , Approx $300 Bn were spent to change name in federation and Provincial records. In the new province, Bureaucratic setups , judicial , executive setups and many other institutions would-be required to built.
with the present economic issues of the country, it better is to not go for a new Province at present. Disintegration is also present in the country, so be making a new province just on the basis of Language or ethnicity or anything like this could create more issues, may lead to more disintegration among provinces.
To conclude, instead of going for new provinces, the Government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan must try to improve the deliverance of the government.