HYDERABAD-President of Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) Sindh chapter Nisar Ahmed Khuhro has said some political parties have made the revocation of 18th Constitutional Amendment as part of their manifestos.
Addressing a press conference here Friday, Khuhro said only such an amendment would be welcomed which vested greater powers to the provinces and enhance the share of National Finance Commission (NFC) award.
Former Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, PPP Sindh’s General Secretary Waqar Mehdi, former Senator Aajiz Dhamrah and other office bearers of the Party were present on the occasion.
“Any other change in the 18th Amendment will not be accepted,” he warned, adding that the PPP would not allow any political party to rollback the advances made in the constitution through that historic legislation spearheaded by former President and PPP’s Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari. Khuhro pointed out that there were still some government departments which were supposed to be transferred to the provinces but they continued to remain under the federal purview.
“A perception is being created that the provincial autonomy has left the centre under financial strain. On the contrary the revenue collection is done in the provinces by the centre,” he underlined.
The PPP’s Sindh President emphasised that strong and autonomous provinces would strengthen the federation. Khuhro said that other mainstream parties believed in limiting all powers at the center, unlike the PPP which always supported autonomous provinces. He contended that some parties wanted to delay conduct of the general elections by challenging the delimitation of the constituencies of the National and provincial assemblies by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).
Khuhro suggested that the ECP should either fix a time frame for disposing off appeals against the delimitation or it should declare the newly formed constituencies as final in order to put to rest the possibility of delay in the general elections. He believed that some political parties wanted to see postponement of the elections on the pretext of snowfall or law and order situation. The PPP leader expressed gratitude to Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Qazi Faiz Essa for fixing the hearing of the presidential reference for reopening the death penalty conviction case of former Prime Minister and PPP’s founding chairman Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. He announced that on the 16th anniversary of martyrdom of ex-PM and PPP’s Chairperson Shaheed Benazir Bhutto on December 27 a public meeting would be organized in Larkana outside the mausoleum of Bhuttos. He observed that many political parties were forming electoral alliances in Sindh to take on the PPP but his party would contest the polls on its own.
Former Sindh CM Syed Murad Ali Shah said the decision about allotment of tickets to contest the elections would be taken by the PPP’s election board. He reiterated that as per the country’s law, all the political parties should be allowed to contest the polls. Shah expressed hope that the PPP would emerge as the largest party in the parliament after the February 8, 2024, elections. He claimed that the PPP also had objections against the delimitation of constituencies like in Sanghar and Thatta district. However, he said, the party in no way took any step which might put the conduct of the elections on the given time difficult.
Shah said a blue-eyed person was selected as the PM in 2018, adding that the PPP would not let history be repeated in 2024 elections. He said a political party and its leaders held a meeting with Baloch leaders in a hotel in Quetta but the PPP on its part organized a large public meeting and marked its foundation day in Quetta on November 30 with the public. The former CM also criticized the political parties which were negotiating an electoral alliance with Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), recalling that the same parties had decided and announced after a meeting in London that there would be no future alliances with MQM