Sabotage against South Punjab autonomy to meet tough resistance: Qureshi

ISLAMABAD: Any attempt to sabotage the administrative autonomy of South Punjab will meet tough resistance by political workers and the 40 million locals, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said on Tuesday.

“We will ensure complete transfer of power in South Punjab, ” Qureshi said while attending the meeting on administrative affairs of South Punjab through video-link.

Qureshi said South Punjab was included in the manifesto of Pakistan

Tehreek-e-Insaf by Prime Minister Imran Khan after consultations with him.

He mentioned that the demand for provincial autonomy of South Punjab was not based on linguistic or political, but on administrative basis.

He termed the notification of March 30 a conspiracy against power devolution in South Punjab and was a continuity of the previous such attempts.

Qureshi regretted that no strategy had been formulated to define expenditure of Rs four billion allocated for South Punjab and called upon bureaucracy to adopt seriousness in this regard.

How many of secretaries and inspectors general visited the districts of South Punjab, he raised a question in the meeting.

The foreign minister said Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman had a golden opportunity to ensure implementation of the process leading towards autonomy of South Punjab.

He lauded the members of National and provincial assemblies and ministers hailing from South Punjab to reject the ‘conspiracy’ of notification.

He mentioned that Pakistan Peoples Party and Pakistan Muslim League made promises for the establishment of South Punjab province, however demonstrated hypocrisy later.

He said Prime Minister Imran Khan would visit Lahore on Friday, where 33 members of parliament would join a meeting with him.

Earlier, Finance Minister Punjab Makhdoom Hashim Jawan Bakht welcomed the foreign minister in the meeting. The Additional Chief Secretary Punjab briefed the participants about administrative matters of South Punjab Secretariat.867