Published Date: Mar 25, 2019
18th amendment one of greatest achievements of political parties
ISLAMABAD: Speakers at a seminar on Monday lauded the importance of 18th amendment and stressed that Pakistan got freedom through a democratic struggle and it will only survive if there is true democracy in the country.
The seminar, ‘Parliamentary system of governance: challenges and way forward’, was organised by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI).
PPP Secretary General and former senator Farhatullah Babar said out of the 14 points of Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, four were about provincial autonomy.
“The federal parliamentary system of governance is indispensable for ensuring participation, provincial autonomy and survival of this country,” he said, adding the 18th constitutional amendment was one of the greatest achievements of all political parties which addressed the critical issues of provincial autonomy.
Though there are challenges, it does not mean that whole system should be abolished, Farhatullah Babar says
“Though there are challenges and shortcomings in the current parliamentary system, as no system is perfect, that does not mean to demolish the whole system instead of fixing the weaknesses,” said Mr Babar.
However, he added that a debate had been triggered in the recent past deliberately whether the parliamentary or presidential form of government suited the country with the aim to present parliamentary system as a fail system.
“In the last 10 years, there were three general elections held on time, two governments completed their legitimate tenures and system was moving in the right direction,” he added.
“But one development in this tenure was disturbing in which institutions cross their limits and where two elected prime ministers were removed by the judiciary, which was an unfortunate intervention by any institution into other institution.”
Commenting on corruption, Mr Babar said the stem of accountability was itself corrupted where institutional corruption was on the rise and entire mechanism of accountability lost its credibility and meaning.
“We should have a law of combating corruption which should be applicable to all public servants,” he added.
PML-N MNA Romina Khursheed Alam said the 18th constitutional amendment was the success of the federal parliamentary system.
“The challenges and lacunas in the system should be tackled through consensus,” she said, adding it was unfortunate that only politicians were being maligned and portrayed as corrupt through a deliberate propaganda, which should be stopped.
Barrister Naseem Ahmed Bajwa, lawyer and an author based in the United Kingdom, highlighted several factors that were leading to poor system of governance in Pakistan.
“A system which does not reflect the people of the country cannot be a democratic system.”
He said there was a need for a responsible media and a sensible and vibrant civil society to keep track on the loopholes of the system.
Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri, Executive Director SDPI, said despite having strong parliamentary traditions, the United Kingdom was still facing grave challenges such as Brexit.
He said in any healthy and progressive society there was always a room for debate, discussions and improvement.