THE Lahore High Court on Thursday issued notices to Attorney General of Pakistan and Advocate General Punjab and sought their assistance on a petition challenging inclusion of Mianwali district in proposed Bahawalpur Janobi Punjab province.
Justice Muhammad Khalid Mahmood Khan issued this order on a petition moved by a local lawyer. The petitioner submitted that Article 239 of the Constitution empowered the parliament to change geographical limits of provinces. While the incumbent political parties sitting in assemblies had no mandate to create new provinces. Neither President nor Prime Minister or Speaker National Assembly had power to form a parliamentary commission on provinces issue and such commission had no jurisdiction to amend the Constitution, the advocate contended.
At this, CJ observed that formation of parliamentary commission on new provinces seemed unconstitutional. The petitioner pointed out that Mianwali was closer to Lahore than Multan but political parties bent on to include Mianwali in new proposed province only to gain political mileage in the upcoming general elections.
In order to save Mianwali, the residents had launched a movement while strikes were also being observed against the decision of the parliamentary commission, the advocate pointed out.
The counsels argued that the legislators would have to amend the Article 1 of the constitution. They said the parliamentary commission was formed by few political parties to woo voters in their favour. He said by creation of new province the country would suffer huge loss and riots could erupt in the respective areas.
They requested the court to turn down the formation of the parliamentary commission and also declare its report as unconstitutional. The petitioner also requested the court to stay the implementation of the recommendations of the commission till the final disposal to the petition.