ISLAMABAD: Senior Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader and chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on National Security (PCNS) Senator Mian Raza Rabbani on Monday declared the creation of new ministries after the 18th Amendment as unconstitutional, and added that standing committees, headed by Syed Khursheed Shah and Maula Bakhsh Chandio, had laid the foundation for the rollback of the 18th Amendment.
Most of the new ministries have been assigned to the ministers belonging to the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q).
In a meeting of the Special Senate Committee on the Implementation of the 18th Amendment at the Parliament House on Monday, Senator Mian Raza Rabbani adopted a strict stance on the creation of new ministries and said that the rights of provinces had been usurped after the 18th Amendment. He opined that 17 ministries were abolished through the 18th Amendment, and that seven ministries werecreated unconstitutionally.
The ruling party senator questioned as to what was the need for the new ministries. He said that if there was an objection to the devolution of ministries, why did the cabinet approve it in the first place? He opined that some political personalities did not want the implementation of the 18th Amendment. He said that the federal education ministry had been created illegally and this act was tantamount to withdrawing power from the provinces.
Senator Kalsoom Parveen said that dues had been paid but assets were not transferred. Senator Raza Rabbani said if some mistake had been committed in the transfer of powers, this should be pointed out and a way forward should be carved.
The secretary for the inter-provincial coordination told the meeting that the provinces had refused to take over the National Education Programme, National Commission for Human Development and LHV (Lady Health Visitor) programme.
Mian Raza Rabbani said that the standing committees, headed by Syed Khurshid Shah and Maula Bakhsh Chandio, had laid the foundation for rollback of the 18th Amendment. He said that there was an immense pressure from donors for not devolving the health and education ministries to the provinces and they also threatened to stop funding but the Implementation Commission decided that the Constitution would not be violated.
Senator Raza Rabbani said that the president and former prime minister Yusuf Raza Gilani gave him a free hand and never asked him not to allow the devolution of any department. The special committee also sought details of the departments that had not been devolved to the provinces. It also sought reasons for the creation of new ministries.