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Feasibility of New Provinces in Pakistan

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Muhammad Adil khan Argumentative essay March 13, 2016

The feasibility of new provinces in Pakistan?

Since the inception of Pakistan August 14, 1947 Pakistan has been facing the dilemma of provincialism. Though Pakistan was achieved on distinct ideology of Islam but it did not truly keep on its unique identity and the separation of East Pakistan in 1971 was a severe blow. This differentiation led to the call of provincialism which is still a debate on many forums. The idea of creating new province is an old one. For years different ethnic group have been seeking the creation of their own provinces and for years these voices have been ignored democratically, politically ormilitarily. First of all it is the constitution which is a big hurdle in the creation of new province. Article 239(4) of the constitution says “A bill to amend the constitution which would have the effect of altering the limits of a province shall not be presented to the president for assent unless it has been passed by the provincial assembly of that province by the votes of not less than two thirds of its total membership”. (Butt, 2012).It is a clear indication that the constitution is not in favor of new provinces. A two third majority of a province would never accept to limit their boundaries for the sake of a new province to be created. But why have there been cries for new province since inception of Pakistan? From the very start Pakistan was deprived of its true

Khan 2 leadership, first Jinnah departed in 1948 and then Liaqat Ali khan in 1951, which could have united whole of Pakistan. Secondly, the geography and multi ethnic population of Pakistan neverlet it be united as it should be. Sense of deprivation is the major reason why cries for new provinces have been raised but looking deep into the matter, does it really solve the problems? Coming up with many provinces will keep the gap between the different ethnic groups as it is now. Establishing new provinces is not the best solution rather good governance is the key to an efficient administration. Although creation of new provinces may dissolve the ethnic differentiation at one time, nevertheless it is precursor for further problems because, there would be disputes over resources distribution , expenses of new administration and further ethnic groups will demand their own separate province on lingual basis.
Though after the creation of new provinces, each ethnic group will get their fair part of representation in the policy making and framing constitution of Pakistan to safeguard own interests but the fact is that there will always be disagreements over the distribution of resources. A province rich in certain resources will consider it as its own assets and this will greatly damage and deteriorate the central government. Even today, having just four provinces Pakistan has got this debate of the fair distribution of resources. Baluchistanand KPK still complain that bulk of their resources are utilized in Punjab and despite having the resources, they are deprived of their fair share. This in return affects the rate of development in a province. There have been disputes over the distribution of electricity, water and gas from KPK and Baluchistan respectively to Punjab. Similarly transport of grain to other provinces is resented by many in Punjab. Any foreign aid to central government follows debates and disputes for its fair distribution among
Khan 3 provinces. These disputes sometimes get serious and recently CPEC (China-Pakistan economic corridor)is a crystal clear example,in front of us. Lack of fair distribution of resources between East and West Pakistan finally led to its separation in 1971.Uprising in Baluchistan in 1973 had the same deep-rooted cause, that Baluchistan is exploited of its resources. Thus creation of new provinces may escalate the problem of distribution of resources and may lead to certain insecurity in country.
A proper new efficient administration is needed to cope with the problems of newly established province. Creating new provinces is not an easy task.It is something more than paper work.A province is usually divided into Zillah/districts which have tehsils /county as subunits, further divided into union councils which are made of up few villages. Each village has representation in the local government. For a new province all this setup is mandatory and essential. Without an efficient administrational setup a province cannot run fluently. It takes a lot of time to constitute a proper setup for a province. Taking the example of Baluchistan which was given its proper provincial status in 1970.Though it is certain that it will ease the burden on certain institutions and this will enhance their productivity but at the same time it is expensive to formulate a whole new bureaucracy for the new province. Sometime a new province will not be able to provide eligible and able candidates for the bureaucracy, thus it again leaves it in other hands and the root purpose is not achieved. It is indeed a great burden on central government to maintain and smoothly run its finances over large number of provinces. A centralized or few administrations of provinces can work in coalition and effectively safeguards their interests on a little compromise but it is really hard for the administrations of many provinces to reach fair consequences.A recent debate over CPEC (China-Pakistan economic corridor) clearly justify that Khan 4 in presence of many bureaucracy,consensus is hardly reached: On a bigger note new province is followed by administrative issues which are not only difficult to handle in short time span but also expensive, which certainly weaken the central government on financialbasis. The economic feasibility of a new province can be rejected when it fails to solve the never ending ethnic crises. It may calm down one group of people but will certainly arose another ethnic group which will eventually demand their separate land, since Pakistan posses multiethnic diversity; each with its own distinct linguistics. When new provinces are established on ethnic and linguistic grounds, political forces will create problems in order to maintain their hegemony over each other.The formation of new provinces on the bases of ethnicity will be another hit to the belief system of Pakistan. The most disturbing side of the interests for new provinces is that it depends on ethnicity, dialect and tribal loyalties which lead to ethnic levels disintegration consequently driving a break between various ethnic groups ever more profound than effectively existing. In the event that any single new province is made it will prompt an interest by other weight bunches for their very own-territory on ethnic premise, consequently shattering the one nation philosophy on which this country was achieved Creation of new provinces will curb the ethnic disparity, sense of deprivation and resource exploitation for one group and will not only release power to local bodies from the centre, but will handle a fair burden that the centre is facing now. Local government can effectively deal with the layman problems and thus couldsolvethem at priority basis. An ordinary man from a far flung area will get his problems solved at his doorstep, but in fact creation of new provinces will not ultimately solve this problem. Standard of life of an ordinary man depends on good governance and inter provincial harmony. The scattered case of Afghanistan truly reveals
Khan 5 itself having 34 provinces, while one supporting the presence of foreign troops, the other oppose it.The issue of feeling of deprivation is not on the merefact that there are fewer provinces rather lack of provision of rights ensured in constitution. We have toseparate provincial autonomy and creating more provinces.Unlike Afghanistan, we have an excellent example of UK, for union of good governance. The required foundation for administration to the general population of these particular units is accessible at theirdoorsteps, thusno one is talking about further divisions.
From above discussion and two examples of Afghanistan and UK, we have discovered that we need to concentrate on the improvement of our establishment and common administrations. The absence of welfare granted to open by the state is the continuation of absence of regulatory structure and institutional development in the administrational setup of Pakistan. The foundation stays insufficient with a flat out wasteful and inadequate workforce in any case, which resultsnot in the failure of the institutions, but Pakistan as a state. Thus In the light of above definition, Pakistan needs good governance and lack ofit is the major cause for the call of new provinces. Giving a great administration to masses implies they are contented with the present state of affairs and authoritative division, so to enhance great good governance, there is a critical and dire need of reevaluating the current strategy for local government and altered arrangement which is more productive, powerful, scientific, humanistic, and welfare oriented. In this current state of instability Pakistan is not in a positionto deal with another uproar, of creating new provinces, while having many other priorities to tackle with. A united Pakistan will remain a beneficial place to live, in the long run.

Khan 6
Works Cited
Abdul Manan and Tariq Ismaeel, “I Did Not Say Karachi Should be made a Province” shahbazsharif, Express tribune, 25 April, 2011.
Ayesha Jalal, Democracy and Authoritarianism in South Asiaa Comparative and Historical Perspective, (Cambridge: Cambridge University press, 1995)
Butt, T. (2012, 08 19). "NA commission to create new Provinces cannot deliver". The News International
DrMoonisAhmer. “Challenge of new provinces.” Dawn 19 Jan, 2013 L5 Print
M. Ikram Rabbani. Pakistan affairs, (Lahore: Zahid Bashir Printers, 2009), pp. 150-54.
Talbot, Ian (2009) Pakistan: a modern history, London, GB Hurst, 2011. Print
The Nation, Quicksand of New Provinces, August 15, 2011
Waqar Abro. “Formation of new provinces in Pakistan.” CSS Forum Mar. 2012: 30, Print

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