Team Members: Erum Ali Haider
Significant turning points in Pakistan’s political history are often closely tied to constitutional reform, either through the promulgation of a new constitution or through amendments to the existing constitution. The Constitution of 1973 is widely regarded the first legislative document to have had broad consensus amongst national and provincial political parties in Pakistan; significantly, it introduced a multi-party parliamentary form of government. But in the decades following 1973 two major constitutional amendments, the 8th and the 17th Amendments, changed the parliamentary democratic fabric of the 1973 Constitution. Through these Amendments, powers were transferred from the Parliament and Prime Minister to the Presidency, changing the system of governance in the country. After an intense period of political struggle and compromise, in 2007, major political parties agreed to a revival of the 1973 Constitution in its original form, in an effort to bring the country back to democratic and parliamentary track. Following this, in April 2010, the 18th Amendment was approved.
This study by SDPI focuses on the implications of the 18th Amendment on the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) mandate areas and how they operate in relation to Pakistan’s federal and provincial governments. It reviews the issues surrounding UNODC’s Programme through the governance lens, highlighting key changes brought about by devolution and discussing their impact. The study finds that the 18th Amendment has provided the provinces with considerable financial and administrative resources, which provincial governments must be held accountable for. A system of government that allows elections to the Union Council and district level, if used effectively, might help to reduce monitoring costs and increase transparency. Additionally, it would result in additional resources to the districts where they could be targeted effectively.
In addition to the report, the fieldwork conducted for this study has provided a rich dataset that is currently being used to write a Working Paper on the 18th Amendment. The Primary aim of this study is analyze the implications of the 18th Amendment on the federal and provincial functions related to the rule of law and drug-related health in Pakistan. For the purpose of this study the 18th Amendment is examined in three tiers (using a governance perspective): legislative changes and legal implications; institutional changes and administrative implications; and fiscal changes, and financial implications. The purpose is to inform and position development assistance in the new framework. It finds that while the provinces now have enhanced capacity to plan and target development programs, a major issue remains to be that of political will.