Senator Rabbani meets with the press

Hafeez Tunio April 21, 2010

KARACHI: For the first time in the history of Pakistan, the provinces will receive a 50 per cent share of natural resources, said Senator Raza Rabbani on Wednesday. He was speaking at the Karachi Press Club’s meet the press programme where Pakistan Peoples Party workers welcomed him with slogans and petals. Rabbani said that the nation has achieved a historic success after 1973.

The issue of provincial autonomy is complicated but the concurrent list has been abolished, meaning 46 departments have been given to the provinces, Rabbani told the audience. “Under provincial consolidated funds, provinces can get loans as well,” he added. He was positive that the new amendment to the constitution would create national consensus and remove any polarisation between the provinces and the federal government. Some of the items mentioned in the Charter of Democracy could not be fulfilled only because the government did not want to create further problems in the country, he admitted.

The constitutional committee has tried its best to avoid any confrontation between the parliament and the judiciary, which is why the new amendment was brought without any changes in the basic principles and broad parameters of the constitution, Rabbani said. As for implementation, a 15-member committee will be formed to oversee it while the prime minister would decide the appropriate methodology. Rabbani added that it would be very dangerous if the amendment is not applied in letter and spirit.

Legal Framework Order

Referring to the Legal Framework Order and the 17th amendment introduced by General (retired) Pervez Musharraf, Rabbani called them a “black mark” in the constitutional history of Pakistan.

Size of cabinet

On the issue of the downsizing of the cabinet in federal and provincial government, Rabbani said this decision has been deferred until the next tenure since the current government is made up of coalitions. “Our prime object was to bring political stability and downsizing the cabinet would have worsened the political situation,” he said.