Chairman of Senate’s Functional Committee on Devolution Process, Senator Mir Kabir Ahmad Muhammad Shahi Thursday said that democracy and federal form of government are source of strengthen to country and constitution of Pakistan devices layout to protect rights of the provinces within this system. He was elaborating points of ‘Peshawar Declaration’ agreed by participants of a Consultative meeting on “Implementation of 18th Constitutional Amendment’ arranged by Pakistan Institute for Parliamentary Services (PIPS) in cooperation with German Foundation Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) and Senate’s Functional Committee on Devolution Process.
The declaration said that 18th amendment has not only augmented principles of democratic, parliamentary and federal structure but also expanded the view of participation, joint ownership of natural resources and administration. It is the joint responsibility of federation and federating units to take steps for implementation of 18th amendment in letter and spirit. He said that basic and higher education is the right of people under the constitution of Pakistan.
Higher Education Commission laws needs to be amended after 18th Constitutional Amendment, and it should be devolved as soon as possible. He said that share of provinces should be decided in funds given to Higher Education Commission. He said that renaming of ministries devolve to provinces tantamount to usurping the rights of provinces. Hindrance in transferring assets of devolved ministries to provinces is regrettable. 8th National Finance Commission Award should be announced and federation should strengthen role of provinces under 18th amendment.
Council of Common Interest (CCI) should be strengthened and its permanent secretariat should be established. Strong relations should be developed between senate and provinces for ensuring implementation of 18th amendment. Powers of senate including relating to monetary affairs are needed to be strengthened for implementation of 18th amendment. Resolution passed by senate in this connection should be fully implemented, the declaration demanded.
The meeting among other was attended by Senator Rubina Khalid, Senator Usman Kakar, Senator Liaqat Taraqai, Senator Tahir Aleem Mashadi, Senator Taj Haider, Senator Ilyas Bilour, Senator Mohsin Aziz, Senator Jan Kenneth William and Deputy Speaker Mehr Taj Roghani.—APP