A NEW SOCIAL CONTRACT ON THE BASIS OF 1940 LAHORE RESOLUTION-THE ONLY VIABLE WAY TO SAVE PAKISTAN

NEW SOCIAL CONTRACT ON 1940 LAHORE RESOLUTION BASIS

(March 29, 2010) -The resolutions of National Conference’ on ‘A New Social Contract On The Basis Of 1940 Resolution-The Only Way To Save Pakistan organised by Save Sindh Movement. Leading political leaders, intellectuals and thinkers addressed the conference.

Rasool Bux Palijo, Syed Jalal Mehmood Shah, Mir Hasil Bazenjo, MNA Marvi Memon, Abrar Kazi, Shah Muhammad Shah, Zamir Ghumro, Ali Hasan Chandio, BNP leader Jhanzaib Khan of BNP, Yousuf Masti Khan, Ayub Shar, Zulfiqar Halepoto and others addresses the conference.

Conference was attended by a large number of political leaders and workers, civil society leaders, writers, intellectuals, lawyers and concerned citizens.

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A NEW SOCIAL CONTRACT ON THE BASIS OF 1940 LAHORE RESOLUTION-THE ONLY VIABLE WAY TO SAVE PAKISTAN

The All India Muslim League vide its Resolution dated 23rd March 1940 (Lahore Resolution), promised an arrangement whereby the states/units will be sovereign and autonomous. The 1940 Resolution had clearly envisaged Pakistan as “a federation comprising autonomous units which shall be completely sovereign.”

Pakistan is a “multi-nation state” consisting of people with diverse cultures, languages and historical backgrounds and it came into being on the basis of an agreement on the basis of Lahore Resolution that each of the federating units would enjoy the status of a “sovereign unit.” Pakistan was not formed by the federation or center but the federating units and nationalities had formed it instead.

However, the National Question and issue of Rights of the Federating Units has been plaguing Pakistan since the early years of its existence. To be more precise, the problem started from the day the founding principle of Pakistan’s creation namely, a democratic federation of “autonomous and sovereign constituent units” as contained in the 1940 Lahore Resolution began to be violated by covert and overt actions of those who came to power from time to time.

Instead of respecting the autonomy and sovereignty of federating units, guaranteed by the Lahore Resolution of 1940, the nations of federating units have been subjected to systematic discrimination, hostility and exploitation, threatening their existence.

Although the original concept of the state structure was “confederal,” over time it was distorted with the introduction of unitary concept and was followed by the introduction of a highly centralized form of governance, thereby paving the way for autocracy and military rule.

The lack of provincial autonomy caused dismemberment of the country in 1971 and eroded the people’s trust in the centre. This is directly linked to federal government having a greater say in legislative affairs, its frequent meddling into administrative affairs of the provinces, unilateral decisions regarding mega projects, and reduced provincial autonomy over natural resources.

In terms of natural and economic resources, federating units are rich and self sufficient, particularly the Sindh being the richest province of Pakistan, but unfortunately the people of people of smaller federating units, particularly Sindh remain amongst the poorest.

Sindh is home to two major sea ports and the largest international air port and the trade worth billions of US. Dollars is done in and through the province. Majority head offices of the banks, financial institutions and multinational companies are based in Karachi, the capital of Sindh, making it the commercial and financial nerve centre of the country.

Whereas Sindh is the largest producer of oil and natural gas. Sindh accounts for 99% of the coal reserves of the country which are located at Larkha, Sonda, Thar, Badin and Metting-Jhampir, with Thar coal field being largest in the world.

Sindh contributes the lion’s share of the national revenue but is always in deficit due to the step-motherly treatment meted out by every federal government and even when the same political party is in power both in the province and at the centre, Sindh has to keep on complaining about its share from the federal funds.

All the incidences of injustice, exploitation and maltreatment meted out to the people of Pakistan, particularly the people of Sindh are directly linked to Pakistan’s present constitutional composition, wherein one majority province has predominance over all others in every respect.

The strong centre has snatched due rights of the smaller provinces. This has led to a situation where even the provincial autonomy is fast becoming irrelevant, because the Balochs do not want autonomy, but to go beyond it. The centre has betrayed the smaller federating units/provinces for the last 60 years, ultimately weakening the centre itself.

This Conference, after careful consideration, is of the considered view that If the Federation of Pakistan is to avert a replay of the tragedy of East Pakistan, Pakistani rulers ought to go beyond cosmetic, make-believe, constitutional changes like striking down the Concurrent List and such other minor adjustments here and there. Nothing short of a NEW SOCIAL CONTRACT reflecting the 1940 Lahore Resolution in letter and spirit can avert the impending disaster and save Pakistan.

The problems being faced by the federal units could not be resolved merely by abolishing the concurrent list. Only New Social Contract giving autonomy to the federating units will pave the way for a strong and viable Pakistan as a federation. Therefore, it is resolved that following just and equitable steps provide the only viable way to save Pakistan:

1. That the elections for the new constituent assembly shall immediately be announced to enact a New Social Contract among the federating units on the basis of 1940 Lahore Resolution.

2. That the complete autonomy shall be given to the federating units, as guaranteed under the Lahore Resolution, wherein, only Defence, Foreign Affairs, & Currency shall be the federal subjects and all the remaining subjects and residuary powers to be exercised by the federating units.

3. The power of taxation shall vest in the federating units.

4. That federating units’ inalienable right over all their existing explored resources and unexplored resources including its oil, gas, coal and other mineral resources and also over its marine resources in the Arabian Sea shall be recognized and guaranteed.

5. The NFC award shall be abolished and a new mechanism shall be devised whereby the federating units shall contribute, through a formula to be devised in the new social contract, to contribute towards a federal fund, to provide the adequate funds to the federal government for running of its affairs.

6. Enhanced legislative/financial/administrative powers for the Senate and the Council of Common Interest, enabling them to play the role of guardians to prevent undue interference in or violation of the autonomy of the federating units.

7. The Senate of Pakistan shall be directly elected and it shall consist of members from the federating units, with no representation to the federally controlled territories.

8. The government of federating units shall be allowed to maintain a para- military force in order to contribute effectively towards national security.

9. That the distribution of water amongst the federating units shall be made under 1945 agreement.

10. That no dam and/or canal shall be constructed on Indus River, except with prior approval of the People Sindh.

11. That the control and ownership of sea ports shall vest in the respective federating units and not to the federal government.

12. That Sindhi, Panjabi, Pashto, Balochi and other main native languages of federating units shall be declared as national languages.

13. That the thousands of acres of land given in prize to civil and military bureaucracy shall be taken back distributed among landless peasants.

Courtesy: Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups, March 29, 2010

4 thoughts on “A NEW SOCIAL CONTRACT ON THE BASIS OF 1940 LAHORE RESOLUTION-THE ONLY VIABLE WAY TO SAVE PAKISTAN”

  1. agreed.baluchi,brohi.pushtu,seraiki,sindhi,punjabi,kashmiri and hindko should all be made national languages.

    but don’t blame the dance-floor…blame the dancers

    no province has been blessed with good leaders and no constitutional change can change that…

    and if that is not changed the state of all the provinces shall remain the same…

    so all the recomendations except the linguistic ones are USELESS

    “In terms of natural and economic resources, federating units are rich and self sufficient, particularly the Sindh being the richest province of Pakistan, but unfortunately the people of people of smaller federating units, particularly Sindh remain amongst the poorest.”
    “Sindh contributes the lion’s share of the national revenue but is always in deficit due to the step-motherly treatment meted out by every federal government and even when the same political party is in power both in the province and at the centre, Sindh has to keep on complaining about its share from the federal funds.”

    SINDH IS IN TROUBLE BECAUSE ITS LEADERS GIVE IT THE STEP-MOTHERLY TREATMENT NOT PAKISTAN!!!IT IS POOR BECAUSE OF THEM AND THEM ALONE AND THE PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT TAKES TO CONCRETE STEPS TO TAP THESE ‘REASOURCES’.

    go and ask them why they refused to tap the water potential of the indus delta and solve all the water troubles of lower sindh!

    these fancy proposals of yours hold no meaning until proper leadership germinates and after that they would become meaningless as people would not care about autonomy and nationalist parties,which feed on the vulnerability of minds of the desperate poor,would loose support…

    the proposals are very impractical and there are several reasons but all i will say is that the 1940 resolution was grafted under the understanding that pakistan would consist of 3 states that would not border each other.as that was not possible in 1946 and pakistan was only gonna get 1 state in the west and a moth eaten bit in the east of india,the movement redrafted its proposals.jinnah was asked what form of government he wanted and he singled out america,australia or canada.and the time to vote for pakistan came in the Sindh assembly AFTER Jinnah had made his intentions clear…these proposals propose not a viable pakistan but a weak and inevitably destroyed pakistan due to a weaker centre than any federation in the world(no taxation power and provinces with armies!!!)…confederations NEVER survive…

    the only way to save Pakistan and Sindh is good leadership

  2. iaoj

    not so fast here

    the clauses in the 1973 constitution were not implemented due to interferance with the democratic process by zia…do mention that…

    and what karachi is is what it has became because of these migrants…to ask them
    to start packing and giving them the boot NOW would be a great injustice

    and get out of this mindset that sindhi language is threatened by pakistan….agreed that it is not a national language but it is an official one…and its development was greatly accelearted AFTER pakistan cam into being…an example is that Sindhi evolved into a language of major prose apart from only being a mainly poetic one…this is currently the sindhi language golden era…

    the senate should not be given the powers suggested as this would place Punjab in an East Pakistan like situation wherein they would be denied one-man one vote and it would undermine democracy as minority parties(for example a party with a majority in the provinces of Balochistan and NWFP,accounting for only 20%-25% of the total population,if Sindh and Punjab have highly politically divided electorates)will control the center…

    you boast of all these resources…BUT ALL OF THESE ARE USELESS AS LONG AS YOU KEEP ON ELECTING CORRUPT AND SHORT-SIGHTED POLITICIANS TO THE SINDH ASSEMBLY…i shall present an example in my next post…

    as for Karchi,it is nothing without ALL of Pakistan and the trade and business that keeps the city alive and useful is mainly due to the northern provinces so Sindh’s claim an all the fruit it bears is illogical…

    if Sindh’s leaders had managed her better,and she would have reached her true potential,then Sindhi nationalism and separatism would not have existed.

    a better solution would be to adopt an american type constitution with a parliamentary centre…

  3. [Please note : Following material is adopted from SANAList.]
    —-
    From: Khalid Hashmani
    To: sana List ; SANA Canada
    Sent: Mon, March 29, 2010 3:25:19 PM
    Subject: [sanalist] RE: NEW SOCIAL CONTRACT ON 1940 LAHORE RESOLUTION BASIS

    I congratulate the drafters of this resolution for capturing the essence of the founding principle of Pakistan. I hope those privileged to have the decision-making power would take this resolution seriously.

    The following are my suggestions for minor corrections and enhancements:

    1. 5th Paragraph from top – there is no word “cofederal”, suggest changing it to “confederation” .
    2. I personally think that the paragraphs reproduced although are factual have no relevance to the essence of the resolution. I propose that these be removed from the draft:

    In terms of natural and economic resources, federating units are rich and self sufficient, particularly the Sindh being the richest province of Pakistan, but unfortunately the people of people of smaller federating units, particularly Sindh remain amongst the poorest.

    Sindh is home to two major sea ports and the largest international air port and the trade worth billions of US. Dollars is done in and through the province. Majority head offices of the banks, financial institutions and multinational companies are based in Karachi, the capital of Sindh, making it the commercial and financial nerve centre of the country.

    Whereas Sindh is the largest producer of oil and natural gas. Sindh accounts for 99% of the coal reserves of the country which are located at Larkha, Sonda, Thar, Badin and Metting-Jhampir, with Thar coal field being largest in the world.

    Sindh contributes the lion’s share of the national revenue but is always in deficit due to the step-motherly treatment meted out by every federal government and even when the same political party is in power both in the province and at the centre, Sindh has to keep on complaining about its share from the federal funds.

    3. In my view, the 13th point “13. That the thousands of acres of land given in prize to civil and military bureaucracy shall be taken back distributed among landless peasants. ” is unnecessary as the only purpose it serves is to harden the attitudes of those who benefitted from this unfair land distribution. There are many other equally damaging unfair actions by Pakistani governments that have harmed people of Sindh and other provinces. The impact of including only one such demand only dilutes the essence of the resolution.
    4. The following text of the resolutions passed at the 25th annual convention of Sindhi Association of North America (SANA) is reproduced below for consideration of the resolution drafters:

    I. Reaffirming the principles of 1940 Resolution
    WHERE AS, Pakistan was created on the basis of 1940 Resolution guaranteeing sovereignty and autonomy, this commitment remains unfulfilled after more than sixty-two years of Pakistan’s existence.

    WHERE AS, according to the 1973 constitution the concurrent list of subjects currently under the jurisdiction of Federal government would be abolished by 1983, the said provision still remains in the constitution thirty-three years after the inception of the constitution.

    THEREFORE, this gathering appeals to all people of Pakistan including political parties and other components of he Pakistani society to work together to implement the following constitution changes:

    (a) Enhance the 1973 constitution to provide “autonomy” and “sovereignty” in accordance with the 1940 resolution. The role of the federal government should be limited only to the subjects of Defense, Telecommunications, Currency, Foreign Affairs, and facilitating interaction among provinces.

    (b) Strengthen constitutional provisions giving provinces the ownership of the oil, gas, mineral, and other natural resources located in their provinces.

    (c) The senate should be composed of 25 members from each of the four provinces. Its powers are extended to initiate money bills and to approve key Federal appointments, including high court judges, Federal Public Service Commission members and the chiefs of the armed forces.

    (d) The power to appoint municipal and district officials should be returned to the provinces.

    (e) The powers of provincial governors appointed by the central government should be strictly limited so that they are not able to undermine the powers of the provinces.

    II. Recognize and promote National identities and ensure their majority in their provinces

    WHERE AS, Sindh agreed to join the union of Pakistan with the understanding that it will continue to promote and enrich its native language and culture, however, the succeeding central and provincial governments have undermined Sindh language and Sindhi culture.

    THEREFORE, this gathering demands that Balochi, Pashto, Punjabi, and Sindhi be designated as the national languages of Pakistan. We also demand from the Sindh government to vigorously enforce the 1972 language law in the province and to enact laws that promote further use of Sindhi language in public and private sectors. We further demand that the federal and provincial governments take steps to discourage any mass migrations to Sindh from other provinces or foreign countries that threaten the majority of Sindhis in Sindh. Instead, the government should take steps to create temporary facilities near the affected areas so that any displaced persons can easily return to their homes when the peace and order is restored in those areas. We ask that steps be taken to encourage those have already migrated to Sindh to return to their home countries and home provinces.

    Once again, many thanks to the organizers and workers of the “Save Sindh Movement”. Indeed the proposed resolution will sve Pakistan and I second the essence of the resolution.
    Sincerely,

    Khalid Hashmani
    McLean, Virginia, USA
    ///////
    [Courtesy: Khalid Hashmani and Sanalist@yahoogroups.com]

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