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April 17, 2018

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Rabbani for grand dialogue on new provinces

Rabbani for grand dialogue on new provinces

ISLAMABAD: Senior leader of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and Senate former chairman Mian Raza Rabbani Monday called for a grand national dialogue on the question of creation of new provinces.

“The question will not be resolved by amendment to Article 1 of the Constitution, 1973 — the consequential constitutional amendments will have far-reaching effects on the existing provinces as well as the federal-provincial relationship,” Raza Rabbani said in a statement.

Therefore, he said, Parliament and particularly the Senate needs to initiate a grand national dialogue. Raza Rabbani, who led the Parliamentary Committee on Constitutional Reforms to carve out historical 18thamendment through which about 100 clauses of the Constitution were amended to make the Parliament sovereign grant autonomy to the provinces, said he creation of provinces is a historical process, therefore, Provinces cannot be carved out on the basis of administrative convenience. “This will further aggravate the national, ethnic, linguistic, and natural resources’ question,” he said.

The PPP leader said a province, its people, and land have a history, language and culture and they have roots in the land associated with them. “They are owners of the land and the natural resources, over and below its waters and land, which they share through a constitutional agreement with the Federation,” he said.

He said such a decision shall be negation of history, having consequences that will sharpen the internal contradictions and bring them into focus with the possibility of impacting the demography of the Federation. “There is a need to initiate a political thought process on this issue and a national dialogue needs to be initiated on the impact and consequences the constitutional amendments on the provinces,” he said.

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