Enemies of Sindh trying to stop Sindh Government taking over jurisdictions freed from Federal Control by 18th Amendment
by: Khalid Hashmani, McLean, Virginia
.. Manzoor Chadio points out several cases at different Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups, where enemies of Sindh are engaging in activities to stop the Sindh government from taking over the control of those subjects that have returned back to provincial jurisdiction after decades of federal usurpation. It is imperative that Sindhis in Sindh and overseas Sindhis to jointly show support for the provincial take over and criticize those who are still maneuvering to retain control over these subjects. We must stand guard and insist that the PPP governments at the provincial and the federal levels do not waiver from implementing their responsibilities.
Chandio sahib has pointed several specific cases where the daggers have been drawn and the role played by so-called national press in trying to slow down the take-over by the Sindh government. In particular, the three federal hospitals and several educational institutions are at the stake, where enemies of Sindh/ Pakistan are wedging wars on various pretexts.
I urge all to study this critical development and show our collective support for the provincial take over the institutions that we lost because of our apathy few decades ago.
Smokers’ Corner: ‘Concerned’ journalism – By Nadeem F. Paracha
…I visited one of Karachi’s sprawling (and impoverished) areas. I went there at the invitation of an old college friend who still lives there. Both of us were members of a progressive student organisation in college in the late 1980s… For full article, click here
Parliament empowered to change basic structure of Constitution: Aitzaz
ISLAMABAD: Former President of Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) Aitzaz Ahsan said the judiciary is under the Constitution, as it is applied to the judiciary as well, our sources reported Tuesday. He said the Parliament is empowered to change the fundamentals of the Constitution, adding the apex court cannot nullify the Constitutional amendment….Ahsan said, according to the Article-238, 239 no amendment in the Constitution can be challenged in any court, whatsoever; neither can the SC`s power to hear petition be challenged.
The pretence of ‘reforms’ will prove counterproductive. Since its inception, Pakistan has been under direct or indirect military rule. Never has Pakistan established itself as a true federal and democratic state, and today’s current constitution has proven completely inadequate in progressing towards that end. Rather than safeguarding the rights of the oppressed Nations, of the religious minorities and of other marginalized groups (i.e. women), the constitution has become the very instrument of hegemonic control and military domination by which the Punjab majority subjugates all other ethnic and religious minorities into a tyrannical majoritarianism.
The current 18th Amendment passed in National Assembly, though a step in the right direction, does not sufficiently address the genuine concerns of equality of all the peoples of Pakistan.
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.
You are invited to attend a meeting in Washington DC Metro Area on 18th Constitutional Amendment and rights of small nations in Pakistan. We encourage you to send us a page or two (Maximum) on your behalf or on behalf of your organization to be read in this session.
Recently proposed constitutional changes through “18th Amendment” cause serious concerns in small nations of Pakistan. Throughout its history, the country has been governed by its elite, under military dictatorship or with selective freedoms for its peoples. As a result eastern wing of the country walked away from the union and remaining stakeholders have very little or no faith in the present setup.
Although the 1973 constitution of Mr. Bhutto imposed a top-down framework on small nations but that document has yet to see the light of the day. People of Balochistan have declared their intent to part ways whereas in Sindhi people are increasingly having doubts about their salvation within Pakistan.
Given the state of the union, the common sense and pro-active statecraft dictate making every effort to create sense of ownership in the constituent units instead of tightening the noose. Even high hopes of gaining individual and collective freedoms in a representative democracy are coming to a screeching halt.
Civic groups, political parties and thought leaders across the country including in the province of Punjab, Pakhtoonkhwa, Sindh, and Pakistani Diaspora in USA and Europe feels a need for sea change the way Pakistani constitution is framed. A consensus is emerging in favor of granting greater national autonomy to save Pakistan from disintegration.
HYDERABAD, April 2: The Sindh Democratic Forum has praised show of ‘unprecedented unity’ among parliamentary parties on the draft of 18th amendment to the Constitution and urged the government to immediately make the draft public.
The leaders of the forum, a think tank, said at a meeting here that the work was half done because some critical clauses of the 17th amendment relating to discriminatory laws against women and provinces’ right to control their natural resources and the very critical issue of recognition of Sindhi, Pashto, Balochi and Punjabi as national languages had not been removed yet.