Saturday, 22 March 2014

Eighteenth Amendment is the biggest mess in the legislative History of Pakistan

Eighteenth Amendment has created big problems in the legislature of Pakistan. It was passed in 2010 after almost one year of debate in the parliament of Pakistan. Majority of the Parliamentarians of Pakistan have agreed to this problematic legislation.

One of the worst things about the eighteenth amendment is that it allows the provinces to make their own laws. The concept of National Legislation is not possible in Pakistan anymore. For the last four years the provinces are making their own laws. It is not good because that is creating complications.

According to Article 25 of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973, All citizens of Pakistan are equal. Now when provinces create their own legislation rights and liabilities of citizens differ from each other. A Pakistani living in Sindh has different rights under different laws than a Pakistani living in Baluchistan. Similarly it goes the same way for other provinces.

An Example is that the Right to Information Law in Punjab keeps the Higher Judiciary out of the ambit of legislation while in Khyber Pakhtunkhwah the same is subject of Right to Information law. We have created a big mess in the legislative History of Pakistan through this constitutional amendment. The problems are there in all new legislations.

A dilemma is that many people in Pakistan believe that if we make the provinces stronger, individuals will be having more rights. However, fact is that when the provinces are stronger, we will be having a weak Federation and that ultimately will create big troubles for the unity of country. The Eighteenth Amendment should be declared null and void by the Supreme Court of Pakistan so that we move ahead as a stronger nation rather than a messy nation fighting with its Federating Units.

Salman Yousaf Khan
Advocate High Court

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Salman Yousaf Khan
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