Fair distribution of resources

AS federal and provincial governments are in the process of finalising ninth NFC award, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif while talking to Chief Minister Balochistan Sanaullah Zehri on Saturday assured that government is duty bound to ensure equitable distribution of resources amongst federating units to visualise the dream of a prosperous and developed Pakistan. Given the grievances of some provinces over inequity in revenue sharing that go back a long time, it is all the more imperative that resource distribution formula is finalised keeping in view aspirations of all the provinces to promote provincial harmony.
The much talked about 18th amendment was an important piece of legislation vis-à-vis ensuring greater provincial autonomy that accepted the rights of provinces over their natural resources. Whilst the full implementation of that provision is yet to be seen, we understand that greater responsibility lies with central government to treat all its units fairly. At the same time, onus also lies on political leaders to be more sagacious while advocating the rights of their respective provinces. While doing so, they should not indulge in political point scoring or sow the seed of discord for their vested interests as it will only weaken the federation and strengthen the hands of our enemies. If standard of living is higher in one province, it should not be a matter of heartburn for governments and leaders of other provinces rather they should also expedite efforts to catch up with that province instead of resorting to baseless propaganda campaign against it. All the four provinces, FATA and Gilgit-Baltistan form the state of Pakistan and they have to live in harmony and share their resources in order to move forward. As for smaller and underdeveloped provinces, we expect that with consensus amongst all stakeholders, they will be given greater share in the new NFC award so that they could remove backwardness and sense of deprivation of their peoples. Given the current internal and external challenges, the provinces should also not have any apprehensions if the federal government holds a reasonable pie to meet defence and security related requirements.

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