KARACHI - Speakers at the meeting of the Shura Hamdard Karachi chapter the other day urged the government to grant complete provincial autonomy and gradually reduce the concurrent list of the constitution, which has become a bone of contention between federation and provinces. The meeting titled Provincial Powers and Solidarity of the Federation was held under the chair of Justice Haziqul Khairi, Chief Justice Federal Shariat Court at a local hotel. Sadia Rashid, President Hamdard Foundation Pakistan was also present. Speaking on the occasion, Senator Abdul Haseeb Khan said that for the sake of national solidarity, complete autonomy should be given to all provinces as was guaranteed in the 1973 Constitution. He added that due to the growing sense of deprivation, Balochistan was slipping out our hands. Dr. Mohammed Ali Siddiqui said that All India Muslim League was the champion of provincial autonomy and the basic dispute between All India Congress and All India Muslim League was on provincial autonomy. The concurrent list, which is main hurdle in the way of provincial autonomy was to be ended in 1985. But it could not be materialised due to the indifferent attitude of the then Parliament. The Parliament does not perform its main function of legislation, he said. Dr. Akhlaq Ahmed, Pro-Vice Chancellor University of Karachi, said the strength of centre depended on the strength of provinces and if the federating units were weak, the federation could not become stronger. The education sector should be handed over to the provinces so that they could make their own education policies, reflective of their own culture, he demanded. Noted economist, Dr. Shahid Hassan Siddiqui was of the view that there were three main factors responsible for present situation of Pakistan, namely the US, the feudalism and the NRO. He demanded the constitution should be restored to its original shape of 12th October 1999. Pakistans defence expenditures exceed its development budget which has plunged the country into the present crises, he added. Abrar Hasan, Member Pakistan Bar Council, said the disputed 8th and 17th amendments in the Constitution were the relics of military dictatorships. He said there were three lists of power in the 1973 constitution, namely federal, provincial and the concurrent list, containing numerous subjects. Federation and provinces, under the concurrent list, have same powers to legislate. Therefore this list has become a matter of dispute between the centre and provinces and for the restoration of provincial autonomy it is necessary to amend this list, he argued. Highlighting the affect of concurrent list, Justice Hazique Khairi said since federation and provinces both had powers of legislation under this list therefore if they made separate laws on the same subject, the law of federation would prevail that creates problems. Former Chairman Pakistan Steel Mills, Haq Nawaz Akhtar stressed upon the need of devolution of power from centre to provinces and then to local governments by reducing the subjects, accumulated in the concurrent list of the constitution. Shujaat Ali Qarni was of the view that solidarity of federation was more important than provincial autonomy arguing that some people were talking about the break-up of the country. The reasons behind complaints regarding the provincial rights have resulted from bad governance and lack of implementation of 1973 Constitution which was the common responsibility of the executive, legislature and judiciary. The country does not need more provincial autonomy but good governance, he observed.