ISLAMABAD: Former chairman Senate, Senator Mian Raza Rabbani, Thursday said that the president had violated the Constitution by holding a conference of governors without the advice of prime minister, as after the 18th Amendment, the offices of both president and governors only had ceremonial roles.
Talking to media persons here at the Parliament House, Rabbani, flanked by the National Party Senator Mir Hasil Khan Bizenjo, pointed out that the powers of the president had been devolved to the prime minister and the Parliament, leaving the offices of the president and the governor only to be ceremonial.
He wondered, “The president has no discretionary powers and he is bound to act upon the advice of the prime minister, so I just want to ask whether the prime minister had advised the president to convene governors’ conference.”
Rabbani also said the president had no constitutional mandate to advise the provincial governors to keep close liaison with the provincial chief justices of the high courts about jail reforms to ensure speedy justice despite the fact that it was purely a provincial subject.
He questioned, “Does the president want the governors to bypass the provincial cabinets and the governments and set up parallel governments in every province. The federal information minister goes to Karachi and says they would put things in order in the province, which is indirect way of imposition of the governor rule”.
Rabbani pointed out that the Punjab governor did not let the chief minister to work independently and asked was this the new way of federalism? Was this an attempt by the federal government to shelve the provincial governments and assemblies and run the provinces through governors.
He contended that the prime minister’s decision to set up a national curriculum council was a violation of the Constitution and said it was a provincial subject and the centre had nothing to do with it.
Rabbani continued that the basic question from those bent upon rolling back the 18th constitutional amendment was: do they want to follow The Nehru Report of 1928, in which he had clearly stated that all the power would rest with the Centre.
Contrary to Nehru Report of 1928, he said that the 14 points given by Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah clearly stated that power would rest with the provinces, adding that those bent upon demolishing the 18th amendment, were following Nehru report and not that of Jinnah’s 14 points.
Speaking on the occasion Senator Hasil Bizenjo said that there was a segment within the country, which wanted to abolish the parliamentary system of governance by rolling back the 18th constitutional amendment to pave the way for presidential system in the country.