Pakistan Constitution’ s 18th Amendment and Provincial Autonomy: An unfinished Job
by: Khalid Hashmani (cLean, Virginia, USA)
The 18th amendment to Pakistan’s constitution became law after country’s President signed it on April 19, 2010. This historic accomplishment was achieved after many rounds of discussions and compromises. The key achievement of endeavor was restore much of the original 1973 constitution and to shift away the massive power that was given to the Presidency under military dictators General Zia-ul-Haq and General Pervez Musharraf. However, the people of small provinces were once again cheated away and the promise of provincial autonomy was largely limited to cosmetic changes and use of buzz words such as abolition of the concurrent legislative list containing subjects where the Federal government and the four provincial had shared jurisdiction prior to the 18th amendment. Indeed, it was the long standing demand of provinces to do away with concurrent list and restore sole provincial jurisdiction as provinces had enjoyed under British before Pakistan was created. What actually has happened under the 18th amendment that the central government has assumed the jurisdiction over most important subjects and let provinces have jurisdiction over less important subjects. On top of this, a provision (Article 143) that before 18th amendment allowed the federal government to enact laws only in the subjects covered under federal legislative and concurrent legislative list have been extended giving authority to the Federal legislature to void any acts passed by a Provincial Assembly. This means that an act passed by a provincial assembly in a subject area that is totally under the jurisdiction of the province can be voided by an act passed by the Federal legislature with simple majority. Before 18th amendment such an act would have required a constitutional amendment. In a country such as Pakistan, where one province had more members in the National Assembly than the combined total of other provinces, this change gives the largest province of Pakistan to override any provincial laws with ease as it could easily muster simple majority from that province alone.
Continue reading 18th Amendment and Provincial Autonomy: An unfinished Job →
Saud Aziz, others in ‘safe custody’ – By Shakeel Anjum
Has former CPO taken the blame under duress?
Courtesy: The News
ISLAMABAD: Where have the police officers facing trial in Benazir Bhutto’s assassination gone? Where is the Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Saud Aziz and why, all of a sudden, has he become inaccessible since April 22, 2010 the day he reported to the Establishment Division in Islamabad after he was removed from the post of the Regional Police Officer (RPO), Multan, and made Officer on Special Duty (OSD)?
The situation is becoming intriguing and there are wide apprehensions that things might turn ugly.
Continue reading Intelligence agecies have arrested Chief Police Office Saud Aziz who had ordered the hosing down of crime scence within an hour of the murder of Benazir Bhutto →
by Munwar Ali
… fact of the matter is that the Sindhi leaders and PPP leaders with whom we had lots of hope attached, have given us so many troubles that we don’t feel any appreciation for them. They are now letting the BBs murder go unaccounted for. This is just unfortunate and some times its hard to digest.
May 1, 2010