Threats to Pakistan’s provincial autonomy


By Farman Nawaz (Unpublished Article)

Today every one in Pakistan is anxiously waiting for the constitutional packages of constitutional reformation committee. However, this committee under the chair of Raza Rabbani is at stand still about this report. Apparently, the obstacle in preparation of this report is the proposed name “Pakhtunkhwa” for NWFP and appointment of judges. But the truly speaking the main hurdle is the issue of provincial autonomy.

Renaming NWFP is no more an issue for political parties except for Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz). PML (N) is not ready to accept this rational demand of Pakhtuns.   PML (N) pretends to work for the rights of Hindku speaking population of the province. However, it is a fact that historically Pakhtuns are living on this land for centuries that is why this land has Pakhtun identity now. If this piece of land is renamed it will create good will in Pakhtuns towards federation. But as this matter is not against the interests of those circles which control the strings of Pakistani politics so it is hoped that after some turnarounds this problem will be solved.

In the same way, the constitutional committee is facing the problem of judges’ appointment. According to media reports, again PML (N) is opposing in this matter. Actually, PML (N) is not the decisive factor in this matter. Rather the problem arising in this matter is that what kind of effective role should be given to Judiciary in the system and how to adjust this new rising organ with the power of executive. Actually this is a tangle between Pakistani establishment and those imperialist factors which now has strong roots in Pakistani system. These factors wants to adjust judiciary as an effective organ and tool in Pakistani system. They have always used judiciary against democratic forces but it is hoped that this issue will also tackled by the parliament and establishment.

But the issue of provincial autonomy is still unsolved. Even this can cause in the breakup of the constitutional committee. In addition, to delay this issue propaganda of new committee or commission can come to front. To keep the smaller provinces happy, some kind of package can divert the attention –like Balochistan Package. Those who are now champions of provincial autonomy can be bribed. People’s Party government, sanding on sand, may not be able to handle this issue.

Provincial autonomy is our main national issue and there are constitutional provisions available to implement it. We as a nation are living under a system that was enacted to safe guard imperialist designs. But now we should emerge as an honorable and independent nation. For this, we must draft a new social contract. But do not have such social, economical and political factors which can cause in declarations of new social contract. Our all capabilities are wasted in fighting terrorism – the gift of imperialism and capitalism.

This issue of terrorism has sacked us completely. Our image is ambiguous. Now we never seriously thought to take the help of regional friendly countries to start a new life. One on side terrorism has destroyed our institutions and on the other side, poverty has broken our backbone. Now imperialist forces may hijack our this demand of provincial autonomy. Imperialist forces will try to convert Pakistan into several semi autonomous states to accomplish its evil designs. These units will be attached with a week centre. Even in new setup, people will have to live under the yoke of poverty.

Therefore, Pakistan should handle this issue carefully and urgently so that imperialist powers cannot creep into those circles that are responsible for playing any role in solution of the issue of provincial autonomy. We should take help from the experience of regional countries to settle this issue. Today only Balochistan is burning but what we can do if tribal areas of Pakistan directly contact America to stop drone attacks? We will have to satisfy our desperate people to keep these units united and keep Pakistan strong.

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