PML-N reveals plan to revisit 18th Amendment, drawing PPP’s ire

Ahsan Iqbal claims his party will complete the 18th Amendment

LAHORE  -  The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party announced on Saturday that they have the plans to revisit the 18th Amendment to the Constitution.

While speaking to reporters after the party meeting in Lahore, PML-N leaders Rana Sanaullah Khan and Ahsan Iqbal said that the party intends to implement the amendment in its spirits and wants to complete it by introducing further devolution of powers.

“The 18th Amendment is incomplete and PML-N will complete it because it was aimed to devolve powers from centre to masses. The powers have been devolved from the centre to the provinces. However, powers are not devolved from provinces to the grassroots,” Secretary General of PML-N Ahsan Iqbal told reporters. He also claimed that the plan is part of the party manifesto and PML-N wants to delegate powers to the local governments.

The development comes in the background of the Pakistan Peoples Party’s claim that the PML-N was siding with powers that be to rollback the 18th Amendment, which was passed by PPP and PML-N jointly in 2010 and which granted greater powers to the provinces in the federation of Pakistan. Sanaullah said that PML-N was not planning to roll back the amendment.

Rana Sanaullah Khan also announced that a show-cause notice was issued to party leader Daniyal Aziz over violation of the party rules. Talking to the media along with PML-N Secretary General Ahsan Iqbal after attending the first parliamentary board meeting at party’s secretariat here on Saturday, he said that his party had a strict and disciplinary policy and no one would be allowed to violate it.

Daniyal Aziz was directed to submit response to the show-cause notice within seven days, he added. “Daniyal Aziz has been told to be cautious while giving such statement to the media,” he said. He highlighted the significance of adhering to the party guidelines and emphasised the need for internal discipline in the party.

Rana Sanaullah said that the PML-N’s first parliamentary board meeting was held on Saturday under the supervision of party Quaid and President in which Sargodha division’s candidates were called and interviewed by the board members. During the 7-hour long meeting, issues related to constituencies of Sargodha division were addressed and deliberated upon, he said. He added that party was trying to develop a consensus with all candidates and personal differences would be eradicated to make the party one unit.

PML-N Secretary General Ahsan Iqbal said that more than 100 candidates belonging to Sargodha, Bhakhar, Mianwali and Khushab districts were interviewed during the meeting. All candidates presented their eligibility, connection and loyalty with the party in front of the board members. The PML-N has started its election preparations vigorously by firstly developed its manifesto committee, he added.

He said that party was searching for suitable and prefect candidate for upcoming general election as strong, stable and elected government was vital for country’s development, adding that the PML-N had all the abilities to transform the country’s infrastructure and revive the economy. “We are trying to restart the development journey under the experienced leaderships of PML-N from where it was halted in 2018.” He said that parliamentary board meeting of Rawalpindi division would be held on Monday and Hazara and Malakand divisions’ meeting was scheduled for Dec 5. Similarly, candidates from Balochistan would be interviewed on Dec-6, Bahawalpur on Dec 8, Multan on Dec 9, Sahiwal on Dec 11, Faisalabad on Dec 12, Gujranwala on Dec 13, Lahore on Dec 14 and Lahore city Dec 15, Sindh province on Dec 16, Islamabad in Dec 18 and KPK remaining candidates would be called for interview on Dec 19. Merit, their courage to serve people of the country, and party loyalty would be preferred.

Earlier, the first session of the Parliamentary Board of the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PMLN) was convened on Saturday at the PML-N Central Secretariat in Model Town. The primary agenda of the session was the short-listing of suitable candidates for the upcoming general elections from the Sargodha division, focusing on both national and provincial assemblies.

Chaired by party Quaid Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and PML-N president Shehbaz Sharif, the session saw the participation of key party figures, including Senior Vice President and Chief Organiser Maryam Nawaz Sharif, Senate Election Cell Head Senator Ishaq Dar, and Party Secretary General Ahsan Iqbal. The presence of the party’s central and provincial coordinators, along with the participation of the coordinators from the relevant division, added depth to the deliberations.

According to a press release issued by the PML-N, the session meticulously discussed and evaluated potential candidates from the Sargodha division, aiming to field a formidable team for the upcoming elections. Commencing with a solemn Fateha recitation, the session paid respects to the memory of two senior parliamentarians, Begum Najma Hamid and Mushahidullah Khan, offering prayers for their departed souls.

As the session unfolded, heartfelt tributes were extended to the late Begum Najma Hamid, acknowledging her pivotal role as an identity of the Muslim League (N). The session emphasised her indelible contributions during Begum Kulsoom Nawaz’s struggle, marking the first anniversary of her demise with expressions of gratitude for her services to the country, the nation, and the party. Similarly, paying homage to the late party leader Mushahidullah Khan, the session highlighted his invaluable role as a precious asset for the party. The session concluded with an announcement regarding the next meeting of the Parliamentary Board scheduled for December 4.

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