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
by: ZULFIQAR HALEPOTO, Secretary, Sindh Democratic Forum, Hyderabad
Courtesy: Daily Dawn, Thursday, 13 Aug, 2009
TWO months ago an advertisement appeared in leading national dailies in which the ministry of provincial coordination, government of Sindh, solicited civil society to submit proposals and recommendations to the government regarding provincial autonomy. The content of the advertisement gives an impression that provincial autonomy is an important issue and the centre is seriously seeking suggestions from provinces to resolve the autonomy issue. The formation of the Council of Common Interests (CCI) and the National Finance Commission to work out for fair distribution of resources are the arguments given by the government about the seriousness of the regime to decentralise powers of the centre. However, during its 15 months in power the government has only demonstrated overcentralisation of power in the presidency.
Continue reading Pakistan – Debate on provincial autonomy
by: Manzoor Chandio, Karachi, Sindh
The ideas of provincial autonomy and decentralisation have become obsolete. Therefore, they are absolutely irrelevant for today’s Sindh.
Recall, the autonomy was talk of the Sindhi leaders before Partition and it was promised in the Pakistan Resolution in 1940. The decentralisation was promised in the 1973 Constitution by devolving the Concurrent List after 10 years.
Continue reading Paksitan – 1973 Constitution, provincial autonomy and decentralization
by Khalid Hashmani, McLean, Virginia, USA
The demand for provincial autonomy on the basis of 1940 resolution is gaining support of many in Pakistan. I salute the Chief Minister of Balochistan, SaeeN Nawab Aslam Raisani for his statement and action plan discussed below in the DAWN report. I hope that other PPP leaders from all provinces will also show similar courage and demand that the centre should only be responsible for foreign affairs, defense, currency and communications and the rest of the powers should be transferred to the provinces.
Call for autonomy on the basis of 1940 resolution by Saleem Shahid in Daily Dawn, please click here
Continue reading The demand for provincial autonomy on the basis of 1940 Lahore resolution
— Selected and translated by Sohail Sangi
What Sindhi Press says;
THE Sindh government has failed to submit a proposal to the federal government for the abolition of the concurrent list and granting of more provincial autonomy. The statements by the members of the Sindh government in the media indicate that they are well aware of the issue. But they have failed to act on their words.
Continue reading Provincial autonomy: Inaction of the Sindh government
by M. Raza
Why don’t the establishment accept 1940’s Lahore resolution of Pakistan ??? which says clearly the word **SOVEREIGN STATES**!! After losing half of country (east Pakistan or Bangladesh), the establishment still dreaming? Why shall the provinces who share 70% of revenue suffer? For what? In which AYAT it is written that Islamabad/ establishment can exploit other provinces in the name of Islam and Pakistan.
ASK BALOCHI, ASK PASHTOON, ASK SINDHIS, ASK BALTISTANIS, ASK GILGITIES AND ASK SARAIKIS, WHY ALL OF THEM SAY THAT ESTABLISHMENT IS EXPLOITING THEM.
Report by: Khalid Hashmani, USA
EVENT: Luncheon Meeting with Mr. Jami Chandio in Washington DC
DATE & TIME: Sunday, January 25, 2009 at 1:30 PM Sharp VENUE: Aabshar Restaurant, 6550 Backlick Road, Springfield, VA 22150
Mr. Chandio is currently doing work with Washington DC-based The National Endowment for Democracy (NED). The focus of his work on the studying of the problems of federalism and prospects for provincial autonomy, including constitutional mechanisms that can be used to prevent, manage, and resolve intra-state conflict in Pakistan.
Continue reading Federalism, Decentralization, and Provincial Autonomy in Pakistan- A meeting with Jami Chandio in Washington DC
Pakistan Seminar: Provincial autonomy only way to save Pakistani federation
By Khalid Hashmani, McLean, Virginia, USA
More and more Pakistanis are coming to realize that to save Pakistan, there must be provincial autonomy in Pakistan. If more people in Punjab see the goodness and rationality of this premise, Pakistan would become a strong and representative state, where every citizen would feel the sense of ownership.
I sincerely hope that the day when there is a consensus on restoring Pakistan’s political structure on the lines of what was envisioned in the 1940 Resolution will come soon before Pakistan fails as a state.
To read a detailed report in Daily Dawn, please click here
Continue reading Provincial autonomy only way to save Pakistan