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What makes a federation?

18 5 0

The 18th Amendment has failed to deliver

Chairman Senate Raza Rabbani – at that time an MNA – led the parliamentary committee that drafted the 18th amendment to the Constitution which was considered a grand bargain at the time. This amendment has failed to live up to the expectations in the last seven years since it was adopted. Raza Rabbani cried in the parliament voting for military courts which was symbolic of the acceptance of the failure of the 18th amendment. I had thought that this would help him emerge as a better parliamentarian and Democrat but he failed again when he voted for military court extension despite making public comments that he would not. That was the second confirmation of the failure of the 18th amendment.

Let me try to explain why I am saying this. I will focus on provincial autonomy, the powers of superior courts, the evolution of political parties; and qualification/disqualification of parliamentarians.
The 18th amendment was hailed for providing autonomy for the provinces and promised better governance to the people. But the reality is that it has weakened the federation because the amendment failed to incorporate what would be the basis of provinces and whether new provinces would be allowed to ensure better administration. The foundation of Pakistan was the two nation theory which promoted that people of the new country would be governed by the universal values proposed by Islamic political thought while ethnicity and culture would take a back seat. 1973 constitution recognised ethnicity as a top political driver which has become a hindrance in developing a Pakistani identity. I am........

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