18th Amendment: What Does It Say?

Posted on April 1, 2010
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Law & Justice, Politics
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Adil Najam

Late Wednesday night the Parliamentary Committee on Constitutional Reforms (PCCR) led by PPP’s Mian Raza Rabbani signed the draft text of the “18th Amendment” to the Constitution of Pakistan.

The News reports that some are describing this as “the best constitutional thing to happen since the 1973 consensus Constitution. It is, indeed, a major – even a ‘historic’ – development.

However, given that this is Pakistan politics, it will be wise to wait until this actually passes through Parliament, actually becomes reality and its provisions are actually made clear. After all, we are quite used to things changing – dramatically at that – at the last minute, and sometimes even after the last minute!

I have been searching for a full text of the current draft but have not found it yet, meanwhile as I wade through the various reports of just what thsi means, here are a few salient points that seem to be clear. Will appreciate if readers can add more on exactly what changes are included and what they will mean for Paksiatn and its Constitution (from various news sources):

  • Reportedly the draft of what is to become the 18th Amendment itself includes 95 amendments to the 1973 Constitution. These 95 amendments will effect 70 Articles of the existing Constitutions. There are three “schedules” and one “Annexure” in the draft package.
  • In particular, the 18th Amendment will undo the impacts of the 8th Amendment (enacted by Gen. Zia ul Haq) which had altered over 90 Articles of the Constitution, and the 17th Amendment (enacted by Gen. Pervez Musharraf) which had altered 26 Articles of the Constitution.
  • The famed article 58 (2) (b), which had first been inserted into the Constitution by Gen. Zia ul Haq and allows the President to dissolve Parliament, and which was re-enacted by Gen. Pervez Musharraf, has been removed from the Constitution in the draft.
  • The new name of the NWFP is to be Khyber-Pakhtunkwa. The PML-N which had long held out on this issue has reportedly agreed to this name change, although PML-Q has maintained some reservations to it as has PPP-Sherpao.
  • On the other controversial issue of the composition of the Judicial Commission, the PML-N proposal of adding a seventh member who is a retired Supreme Court Judge has been accepted.
  • The draft proposes removal of many past amendments added by military rulers, including the 17th Amendment.
  • The draft abolishes the “concurrent list” and gives much more provincial autonomy than is now available to the provinces. The Council of Common Interest has been given additional powers and the provinces have been given more say on national matters by enhancing their representation in the council.
  • Reportedly the draft “purges” the name of gen. Zia-ul-Haq as President from the Constitution (it is not yet clear what this means in practice).
  • The next step in the process is for the draft to be now presented to the National Assembly after which the Government is expected to move the 18th Amendment for Parliamentary approval. It is expected that the draft will be tabled in Parliament within the next couple of days.
  • The committee which worked on this draft for nine months includes representatives from all the political groups having representation in the two houses of parliament. It included: Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, Maulana Fazlur Rahman, Ghulam Murtaza Jatoi, Syed Naveed Qamar, Babar Awan, Haji Lashkari Raisani, Ishaq Dar, Sardar Mehtab Ahmed Khan Abbasi, Wasim Sajjad, S M Zafar, Humayun Saifullah, Farooq Sattar, Haider Abbass Rizvi, Ahsan Iqbal, Afrasyab Khattak, Haji Muhammad Adeel, RehmatUallah Kakar, Abdul Razaq Taheem, Mir Israr Ullah Zehri, Professor Khursheed Ahmed, Hasil Bizenjo, Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao, Abdul Rahim Mandokhel, Shahid Bugti, Munir Khan Orakzai, and Mian Raza Rabbani.
  • The original Constitution was passed in the first PPP government, which has also been the architect of the first amendments to it.

64 Comments on “18th Amendment: What Does It Say?”

  1. ASAD says:
    April 1st, 2010 1:10 am

    This is a truly historic agreement and I think Zardari has cleansed many of his sins by presiding over this!
    And I am NO Zardari supporter.

  2. Kamal says:
    April 1st, 2010 1:22 am

    The biggest and most important thing it says is that Zardari’s powers will be taken away from him. Nothing else matters.

  3. April 1st, 2010 1:52 am

    It does repeal the 58 2(B) … glad it happened.

    As a lawyer I am thrilled with the prospect of figuring out what federal institution would do what… the future HEC, AEDB etc… what about the various draft policies…

    But as a Pakistani… there hasn’t been anything divulged yet that gives me confidence that there has been any progress on the real issues in Pakistan… strengthening fundamental rights, giving equality of citizenship, empowerment of the marginalized sections i.e. women and religious minorities. These are the issues I am concerned… I hope that the Prime Minister’s office is now unambiguously laid open for any and all citizens of Pakistan…

    I am happy about the reports that CCI has been expanded and that Balochistan will now get a fairer share of the resources.

    People think re-naming a province is a big deal… I think they- the wretched establishment- made it a big deal by delaying it for so long. It should have been re-named long ago. In my view it was a manufactured political demand of a party out of ideas. I do hope that they are happy and will start referring to the “Frontier Gandhi” as “Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Gandhi” henceforth. Glad that ends the chapter of ANP’s whining.

    So all in all a good day for Pakistan’s federalism… but there is precious little we know that might give us confidence that Pakistan is on the verge of sanity … and has made some stride towards a more inclusive, democratic and liberal state as envisaged by Mahomed Ali Jinnah.

  4. Raheel says:
    April 1st, 2010 2:08 am

    May Allah turn this verdict in favor of Pakistan and Pakistani nation.
    Whether it be Zardari or ‘No Zardari’, I wish, may this amendment help in amending the fate of our country and our nation. Our people’s behaviors are at a verge of transformation and if leaders alter their manners too, we can assemble Pakistan to an incredible state.
    May we find one politician like CJ Chaudhry, who can withstand and sweep up the whole filth of political system.

  5. Darweesh says:
    April 1st, 2010 3:50 am

    KUFAR TOTA KHUDA KHUDA KAAR KE

    Hope, now these Awami NumaNde(peoples representative) must sincerely make some serious efforts to bring down misries of the people ,for which ,they themselves are responsible.
    Would they do OR are they capable of doing this ?
    We have our doubts, so this “heavenly gift” would not serve the purpose.
    Pray for Pakistan !

  6. Jamshed says:
    April 1st, 2010 6:15 am

    No matter how many times they amend the constitution,can there really ever be a permanant safeguard against army intervention ? On the other hand,Pakistan’s so called democratic rulers have not done much for the country.

  7. izaz haque says:
    April 1st, 2010 7:41 am

    OK, so i’ll go out on a limb with a few political predictions.

    A big victory for Zardari, who continues to surprise on all fronts. He might turn out to be Pakistan’s Ataturk (or savior, or supreme democrat, take your pick).

    Also, seems like Nawaz’s objections were quite benign, so will the media apologize for raking him over the coals for his insistence on his points? I don’t think so.

    With Punjab, Sind, Baluchistan, Baltistan and Kashmir all highlighting their ethnic heritage with their respective province names, it’s about time the Frontier got its name right. Don’t expect Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa to be an overnight bestseller though.

    Also, don’t expect FATA and Karachi to follow through on this either!

  8. Faria Khan says:
    April 1st, 2010 8:13 am

    How on earth are people equating this an achievement for Zadari? Raza Rabani is the real hero. His stewardship and genuine belief in democracy is the reason we are here. Plus the people within this committee were the best that were on offer.

    Anyone catch the palpable hatred between Rabani and Babar Awan at the signing in ceremony?

    An important amendment will be the capping of all national and provincial cabinets to 10% of their respective assemblies. All eyes on Gilani after this. Lets see if he has a backbone and cut the deadwood, and not shift these incompetents to other cushy jobs.

    Also lets hope the changes are implemented correctly. Lets hope the government has been simultaneously been working to ensure that financial provincial autonomy can be inacted successfully.

    Can we now move on and address the bread and butter issues of the country!

  9. Farigh says:
    April 1st, 2010 8:29 am

    A welcome move definitely..But its too early to praise it as
    Bhutto ammended the constitution which his party passed with support from all other parties within hours.
    Raza Rabbani should be given the credit to bring up a consensus on such a volitile issue, but all the discredit will go to Gilani (not Zardari), if he didn’t implement it because after these ammendment Gilani is the center of power

  10. Watan Aziz says:
    April 1st, 2010 8:47 am

    TO BE INTRODUCED IN THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
    A
    Bill
    further to amend the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
    WHEREAS it is expedient further to amend the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan for the
    purposes hereinafter appearing:
    It is hereby enacted as follows:
    1. Short title and commencement. – (1) This Act may be called the Constitution (Amendment) Act, 2010.
    (2) It shall come into force at once.
    2. Amendment in Article 48 of the Constitution:- In the Constitution, in Article 48, for clause (5), the
    following shall be substituted, namely:-
    “(5) If the National Assembly is dissolved, the President shall, in his discretion:
    (a) appoint a date, not later than [ninety] days from the date of the dissolution, for the
    holding of a general election to the Assembly; and
    (b) appoint a neutral care-taker Cabinet.
    Explanation.- In this clause “neutral care-take Cabinet” means the Cabinet consisting of the Prime Minister and
    Ministers who:
    (i) are not a member of a political party;
    (ii) have not been an office bearer of a political party any time during one hundred and eighty days
    prior to their appointment as Prime Minister or Minister; and
    (iii) or whose spouse, sibling, ascendant or descendant is not a candidate in the election being held
    during the tenure of the care-taker Government.”
    3. Amendment in Article 51 of the Constitution:- In the Constitution, in Article 51, for clause (2), the
    following shall be substituted, namely:-
    “(2) A Person shall be entitled to vote in an election for a general seat of the National Assembly if:
    (a) he is a citizen of Pakistan;
    (b) he is not less than eighteen years of age;
    (c) his name appears on the electoral roll of the electoral areas; and
    (a) he is in immediate possession of the valid national identity card issued under the law for the time
    being in force.”
    4. Amendment in Article 91 of the Constitution:- In the Constitution, in Article 91, clause (8) shall be
    omitted.
    5. Amendment in Article 105 of the Constitution:- In the Constitution, in Article 105, for clause (3) the
    following shall be substituted, namely:-
    “(3) If the Provincial Assembly is dissolved, the Governor shall appoint, in his discretion but with the
    previous approval of the President, a neutral care-taker Cabinet.
    - 2 -
    Explanation.- In this clause “neutral care-taker Cabinet” means the Cabinet consisting of the Chief Minister
    and Ministers who:
    (i) are not a member of any political party;
    (ii) have not been an office bearer of a political party any time during one hundred and eighty
    days prior to the appointment; and not a candidate in the election being held during the tenure
    of the care-taker Government.
    (iii) or whose spouse, sibling, ascendant or descendant is not a candidate in the election being
    held during the tenure of the care-taker Government.
    6. Amendment in Article 106 of the Constitution:- In the Constitution, in Article 106, for clause (2), the
    following shall be substituted, namely:-
    “(2) A person shall be entitled to vote in an election for a general seat of a Provincial Assembly if:
    (a) he is a citizen of Pakistan;
    (b) he is not less than eighteen years of age;
    (c) his name appears on the electoral roll of the electoral area; and
    (d) he is in immediate possession of the valid national identity care issued under the law for the
    time being in force.”
    7. Amendment in Article 130 of the Constitution:- In the Constitution, in Article 130, clause (8) shall be
    omitted.
    8. Substitution of Article 213 of the Constitution:- In the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of
    Pakistan, hereinafter referred to as the Constitution, for Article 213, the following shall be substituted, namely:-
    “213. Chief Election Commissioner and Members.- (1) The President shall appoint the
    Commissioner and Members in accordance with the provisions of this Article.
    (2) The Prime Minister shall, in consultation with the Leader of Opposition, forward a penal of
    three persons for the post of the Commissioner or a Member to the Joint Parliamentary Committee.
    (3) The Leader of Opposition may, within three days from the date when the Prime Ministerhas
    forwarded a penal to the Joint Parliamentary Committee, forward his own penal of three persons to the
    Joint Parliamentary Committee for the post of the Commissioner or a Member.
    (4) The Joint Parliamentary Committee may, after inviting objections and public hearing,
    recommend to the President, the name of a person from any of the panels for appointment to the post of
    the Commissioner or a Member.
    (5) The Speaker of the National Assembly shall, in consultation with the parliamentary leaders,
    constitute the Joint Parliamentary Committee of both Houses consisting of sixteen members with equal
    representation to the Government and Opposition.
    (6) The Joint Parliamentary Committee shall make recommendation by majority of members present
    and voting.
    - 3 -
    (7) The National Assembly may, by notification, make rules of procedure regulating the conduct of
    business of the Joint Parliamentary Committee.
    (8) If the Joint Parliamentary Committee fails to make recommendation for the post of the
    Commissioner or a Member within sixty days from the date when a panel for the post was forwarded to
    the Committee by the Prime Minister, the President may refer the matter to the Majlis-e-Shoora
    (Parliament) in joint sitting and the recommendation of the Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) in the matter
    shall be binding upon the President.
    (9) A person shall not be appointed as Commissioner unless he has minimum of twenty years
    experience.
    (a) in the service of Pakistan; or
    (b) in legal or other prescribed profession; or
    (10) In this Part:
    (a) “Commissioner” means the Chief Election Commissioner.
    (b) “Leader of Opposition” means the Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly;
    (c) “Member” means the Member of the Election Commission; and
    (d) “Parliamentary leader” means an elected leader of a political party in the National Assembly
    with two or more seats and notified by the Speaker as a Parliamentary Leader.
    (e) “Prescribed Profession” means a profession prescribed by an Act of the Majlis-e-Shoora
    (Parliament).”
    9. Substitution of Article 215 of the Constitution:- In the Constitution, for Article 215, the following
    shall be substituted, namely:-
    ”215. Term of office of Commissioner and Members.- (1) The Commissioner shall, subject to this
    Article, hold office for a term of six years from the day he enters upon his office.
    (2) The Members of the Commission shall, subject to this Article, hold office for a term of six years,
    with three of the Members being replaced after every three years.
    (3) The Commissioner or Members shall not be removed from office except in the manner
    prescribed in Article 209 for the removal from office of a Judge and, in the application of the Article for
    the purpose of this clause, any reference in that Article to a Judge shall be construed as a reference to the
    Commissioner or Members.
    (4) The Commissioner or a Member may, by writing under his hand addressed to the President,
    resign his office.”
    10. Substitution of Article 216 of the Constitution:- In the Constitution, for Article 216, the following
    shall be substituted, namely:-
    “216. Commissioner and Members not to hold office of profit.- (1) The Commissioner and
    Members shall not-
    (a) hold any other office of profit in the service of Pakistan; or
    (b) occupy any other position carrying the right to remuneration for the rendering of services.
    - 4 -
    (2) A person who has held office as Commissioner or Member shall not hold any office of profit in
    the service of Pakistan except the office of Commissioner or Member before the expiration of two years
    after he has ceased to hold that office:
    Provided that a person who has held office as Commissioner or Member may, with the concurrence of
    both Houses, be reappointed to that office before the expiration of two years after he has ceased to hold
    that office.”
    11. Substitution of Article 218 of the Constitution:- In the Constitution, for Article 218, the following
    shall be substituted, namely:-
    “218. Election Commission.- (1) For the Purpose of election to both Houses of Majlis-e-Shoora
    (Parliament), Provincial Assemblies and for election of such other public offices as may be specified by
    law or until such law is made by the Malis-e-Shoora (Parliament) by Order of the President, a permanent
    Election Commission shall be constituted in accordance with this Part.
    (2) The Election Commission shall consist of-
    (a) the Commissioner, who shall be Chairman of the Commission; and
    (b) six Members, one Member from each Province, one member from the Federal Capital or
    the Federally Administered Tribal Areas and one woman Member.
    (3) A person shall not be appointed as Member unless he has minimum of fifteen years experience:
    (a) in the service Pakistan; or
    (b) in legal or other prescribed profession.”
    12 Substitution of Article 219 of the Constitution:- In the Constitution, for Article 219, the following
    shall be substituted, namely:-
    “219. Duties of Commissioner.- The Commissioner shall:
    (b) prepare or cause to be prepared electoral rolls for election to the National Assembly and
    Provincial Assemblies, and revise or cause to be revised such rolls annually;
    (c) organize and conduct election to the Senate or to fill a casual vacancy in a House or Provincial
    Assembly; and
    (d) appoint an Election Tribunal.”
    13. Amendment in Article 220 of the Constitution:- In the Constitution, in Article 220, the existing
    provision shall be numbered as clause (1), and thereafter, the following new clause shall be added, namely:-
    “(2) After the appointment of a date for holding general election for the National Assembly or a
    Provincial Assembly, or a general seat of an Assembly and till the holding of the election, the
    Commission may, for reasons to be recorded in writing, direct the Federal Government, a Provincial
    Government or any entity of any of the Government to:
    (c) place an officer of the Government or entity under suspension for interfering with holding of
    a free and fair election; and
    (d) not to fill a post or transfer an officer without concurrence of the Commission.”
    - 5 -
    14. Substitution of Article 221 of the Constitution:- In the Constitution, the following shall be substituted
    namely:-
    “221. Officers and servants.- The Commissioner may, with the approval of the Commission, make
    rules for creation of posts, recruitment, and other terms and conditions of service of officers and servants
    of the Commission.”
    15. Amendment in Article 224 of the Constitution:- In the Constitution, in Article 224,-
    (i) in clause (1), proviso shall be omitted; and
    (ii) for clause (7), the following shall be substituted, namely:-
    “(7) Immediately after the dissolution of the National Assembly or a Provincial Assembly, the
    President or the Governor shall appoint a neutral care-taker Cabinet in Accordance with Article 48 or
    Article 105.”
    STATEMENT OF OBJECTS AND REASONS
    In order to hold free and fair elections in the country and to further strengthen the democratic values, it
    is imperative to empower the Election Commission and to make it free and independent through constitutional
    provisions. Similarly, some other reforms are also required to be introduced for improvement of electoral
    system.
    2. The Bill seeks to achieve the aforesaid objectives.
    Sd/-
    Ms. Marvi Memon,
    Member, National Assembly.

  11. Watan Aziz says:
    April 1st, 2010 8:48 am

    MEMBERS OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE OF
    THE PARLIAMENT ON CONSTITUTIONAL REFORMS

    1. Mian Raza Rabbani, Chairman PPPP Senator
    2. Mr. Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao PPP(S) NA-08
    3. Sardar Mehtab Ahmed Khan PML(N) NA-17
    4. Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman MMAP NA-26
    5. Mr. Hamayun Saifullah Khan PML NA-27
    6. Mr. Munir Khan Orakzai IND NA-38
    7. Raja Pervez Ashraf
    Minister for Water & Power PPPP NA-51
    8. Ch. Nisar Ali Khan
    Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly PML(N) NA-53
    9. Ch. Ahsan Iqbal PML(N) NA-117
    10. Dr. Muhammad Farooq Sattar
    Minister for Overseas Pakistanis MQM NA-249
    11. Mr. Ghulam Murtaza Jatoi NPP NA-211
    12. Syed Naveed Qamar
    Minister for Privatization PPPP NA-222
    13. Syed Haider Abbas Rizvi MQM NA-253
    14. Mr. Afrasiab Khattak ANP Senator
    15. Dr. Abdul Malik NP Senator
    16. Dr. Zaheeruddin Babar Awan,
    Minister for Parliamentary Affairs PPPP Senator
    17. Haji Muhammad Adeel ANP Senator
    18. Justice (Retd) Abdul Razzaq A. Thahim
    Minister for Local Government & Rural Development PML(F) Senator
    19. Mir Israr Ullah Zehri,
    Minister for Postal Services BNP(A) Senator
    20. Mr. Abdul Rahim Khan Mandokhel PKMAP Senator
    21. Mr. Muhammad Ishaq Dar PML(N) Senator
    22. Mr. Rehmatullah Kakar,
    Minister for Housing & Works Senator
    23. Mr. S.M. Zafar PML Senator
    24. Mr. Shahid Hassan Bugti JWP Senator
    25. Mr. Wasim Sajjad
    Leader of the Opposition in the Senate PML Senator
    26. Nawabzada Mir Haji Lashkari Raisani PPPP Senator
    27. Prof. Khurshid Ahmed JIP Senator

  12. Watan Aziz says:
    April 1st, 2010 8:51 am

    SLAMABAD: The parliamentary committee on constitutional reforms – which has held 66 marathon sessions – has finalised the preamble of the 18th Amendment Bill and begun a final reading of the document, sources privy to committee proceedings told Daily Times on Sunday.

    Meanwhile, only 11 of the total of 27 members participated in a session of the committee on Sunday. The sources said the Jamhoori Watan Party (JWP) had withdrawn its dissenting note on the participation of provinces in the Federal Shariat Court.

    They said following criticism by the PML-N, the committee had proposed a limit of 11 percent of the total strength of the National Assembly for the federal cabinet.

    Mian Raza Rabbani, chairman of the committee, told journalists after Sunday’s meeting that the committee would soon table the 18th Amendment Bill in parliament.

    According to the sources, the preamble of the bill names rulers who introduced problematic amendments in the 1973 constitution.

    “It’s a historical effort to take away incorrect amendments from the 1973 constitution and an attempt to restore the document in its original form,” said the sources.

    While members are reluctant to announce a final date for the introduction of the bill in parliament, the committee has finalised draft recommendations for 80 amendments to 60 articles of the constitution.

    The sources said the draft recommendations include a 60-page compendium with 14 dissenting notes. They said the ANP had proposed that FATA and PATA be made a separate province. And if that is not possible, the regions be made part of NWFP.

    The sources said 14 dissenting notes had been filed by the PML-Q, the MQM, the ANP, Pakhtunkhawa Mili Awami Party, the Jamaat-e-Islami, the Balochistan National Party (BNP), the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), the Balochistan National Party-Awami and the Jamhuri Wattan Party (JWP).

    The PML-Q’s dissenting notes are related to the concurrent list, with representatives of the forming ruling party calling for the abolishment of the list. The MQM’s note is about sales tax on goods, and the party has demanded the collection of the tax be handed over to provinces.

    The JUI-F’s note is related to the procedure for the appointment of judges to the superior courts.

    http://www.pakrealestatetimes.com/showthread.php?tid=10019

    (The above is unconfirmed by any other source)

  13. Watan Aziz says:
    April 1st, 2010 8:56 am

    Never saw this before, if you remove the ‘I’ from Islamabad, it is ‘Slamabad’.

    Yes, folks over there continue to “slam” Pakistan at every turn. Yes, the .01 percent of Pakistanis who live there are indeed most ungrateful.

    The good news is that 99.99 percent of Pakistanis are hardworking, honest and decent folks.

  14. banjara286 says:
    April 1st, 2010 8:56 am

    this is great news. lets hope it passes in the next couple of days and the concept of give and take becomes a habit with the political parties and institutions of pakistan.

  15. Pakistani says:
    April 1st, 2010 9:24 am

    well said Watan Aziz ,
    These “salamabadi jihadis” keep changing names of roads,airports,hospitals,schools ,now provinces and what not justto keep public hungry and dying on the roads, well done !18th amendment jihadis

  16. Naveen Bukhari says:
    April 1st, 2010 9:48 am

    The much maligned and cursed Zardari did what the old players of politics throughout their life could not. A year ago, the show lickers and lap top warriors were much vocal to let down democracy, by enchanting it so-called and barren, but all are hiding their tail in their legs now. The remorseful and gloomy faces will definite be finding no place to hide. All these factors, together, tried their best to undermine democracy, every cheap tactics, abusing to a democratic president and even austerity drives were devised for this very purposes. But PPP was committed that democracy is best revenge, and practically proved. In sequence of achievements, just turn the page, the unprecedented achievements, either it was Aghaz-e- Haqooq-e-Balochistan package, senate elections, BISP, Benazir employed stock scheme, Zardari’s decision to donate his body parts, women bill and now 18th amendment, were extremely matchless. The old player of politics, are stunned with their fingers in mouth, they could not even bring such any change in their years of dirty politics. Concurrent list, the most thorny and controversial issue, that could not be resolved in 63 years, but PPP did it. How would you compare PPP with such dirty toads and crooked dogs, Pakistan Khappay.

  17. MQ says:
    April 1st, 2010 10:43 am

    It’s a good development. But I won’t count my chickens before they are actually hatched. Let the bill be pass the parliament.

    It’s amusing to see that objections to renaming the NWFP are coming mostly from Punjab. One wonders why didn’t object when the name of Layallpur was changed to Faisalabad.

    Also, it is interesting to see that the 2 or 3 lawyers who are today vociferous in giving more powers to judiciary, in the matter of appointment of judges, were nowhere in the forefront of the Lawyers’ Movement.

  18. Meengla says:
    April 1st, 2010 10:54 am

    @Naveen Bukhari,
    Well said. And I think you may add Gilgit-Baltistan to the list. There is more though: Ties with India are better than they were about a year ago. There is progress against the militants up north. And there is indeed at least some real positive news about Pak-American relations. The Karachi Stock Exchange is well above its lows of 5000+ now…. And, oh, Gorakh Hill Station may see many tourists within a couple of years!

    The passage of 18th Amendment will indeed be an historic event for Pakistan. Something to celebrate.But let’s hope Nawaz Sharif’s famous mood-swings doesn’t spoil the actual passage of the Amendment.

  19. Aamir Ali says:
    April 1st, 2010 11:08 am

    Changes on paper by politicians who specialize in making a big show in parliament, jalsas and talk shows. Practically it makes no difference to the average Pakistani.

  20. Shahid says:
    April 1st, 2010 11:18 am

    Since being updated a couple of months ago, the NA website is pretty swift at uploading all legislation and legislative business.

    While the PCCR recommendations aren’t available yet, they will most probably be up in a day or two.

    Meanwhile, Marvi Memon has presented a private member bill for constitutional amendments and it is available on the NA website

    http://www.na.gov.pk/private_bills/pvt_bill2010/constitution_amend_act2010_300310.pdf

  21. Nawaz says:
    April 1st, 2010 12:31 pm

    I think its a good task done by the all political forces, and i think its a big move towards the democracy, i appreciate this act inculuding the new name for NWFP..
    Nawaz

  22. banjara286 says:
    April 1st, 2010 2:11 pm

    @Naveen,
    u missed the recent agreement between the provinces and the federal govt on the nfc award.

  23. shakeel says:
    April 1st, 2010 3:08 pm

    Such is the present times that we live in that even a good news (it seems to be one) doesnt bring happiness in me.

  24. SJH says:
    April 1st, 2010 8:34 pm

    The first line of this post has the amusing phrase “… my PPP’s Mian Raza Rabbani …”. Am I to presume that PPP is now Adil’s? The typo is funny in a small way but in all fairness I have noticed that parties and personalities do get confused. Apologies Adil but you may want to fix the typo from “my” to “by”.

  25. Bangash says:
    April 1st, 2010 10:07 pm

    Just noticed in the picture and in the list of committe members that there is not a single woman or religious minority member among them.

  26. Sada says:
    April 1st, 2010 11:16 pm

    There are certain implied aspects of these proposed Constitutional amendments which are not generally discussed. While undoing many of Musharraf’s amendments, this Committee and therefore all major political parties in Pakistan have agreed on some changes which were introduced during Zia regime. First, Federal Shariat Court and Shariat Appellate Bench of the Supreme Court were not original feature of this Constitution and these were introduced by Zia. PPP and some other parties, such as ANP, MQM and nationalist were traditionally against these provisions. However, now there is a trade-off and all these parties are wilfully agreeing on these courts. Second, the Committee did not touch the issue of Article 2A, the Objective Resolution, which was made operational part of Constitution by Zia. There is now political consensus on it. Third, other Zia amendments suchArticle 62 & 63 and those related to Ahmadies have also survived with a political consensus.

    I think these are extremely important aspects and reflect a true picture of political consensus among the masses on these issues. It is no more Zia alone whom our conservative-liberals should blame now onward!

  27. Watan Aziz says:
    April 2nd, 2010 12:09 am

    And since we are fixing things, the title of the post is incorrect.

    It is not an amendment yet. I do not know if this is a bill yet or for that matter the text available is entire test of the proposed Bill.

    And where is the ever youthful S. M. Zafar when you need him?

    The text reads (2) The Prime Minister shall, in consultation with the Leader of Opposition, forward a penal of three persons for the post. This should be panel and not “penal”; though is a delightful Freudian slip. If most of them do not belong there, are damn trying hard to get there.

    (8) If the Joint Parliamentary Committee fails to make recommendation for the post of the Commissioner or a Member within sixty days from the date when a panel for the post was forwarded to the Committee by the Prime Minister, the President may refer the matter to the Majlis-e-Shoora
    (Parliament) in joint sitting and the recommendation of the Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) in the matter shall be binding upon the President.

    What happens if the President “may not” refer? Should be “shall”.

    As said elsewhere, in the end, none of this means anything. The four usurpers (we have our own gang of four) and their cohorts have proven that they can ignore it, shelve it, or even suggest ripping it.

    The respect for law comes from within and not from any of the lofty words written.

    “Dil ko behlane ko Ghalib
    ye khayal achha hai”

  28. Sayef Hussain says:
    April 2nd, 2010 6:54 am

    I have also been trying to find out the full text of the draft of 18th Amendment Bill on the net, but so far found nothing. Was this a very hard task to put the draft on the website of the National Assembly, or people on the job still need to be a little more ‘egalitarian’?

    As regards the features of the the bill, the following I could gather from various news items (not verbatim, of course):

    1) Most hyped, change of NWFP to Khyber-Pakhtunkhaw,
    2) Second hyped, judicial commission for judges’ appiontment,
    3) Appointment of senior most judge as chief justice of Pakistan,
    4) Another hyped, removal of 58(2)b,
    5) 5 (or 6) years’ olds’ right to education recognised as basic (or fundamental?) rights,
    6) Appointment of Chief Election Commissioner on the advice of Leader of Opposition,
    7) Full independence of Election Commission (I don’t know how),
    8) Production of hydro-electric power declared as provincial subject,
    9) etc. etc.

  29. AHsn says:
    April 2nd, 2010 7:59 am

    18th. Amendment

    As usual the writer and the contributors are rejoicing in anticipation that the present 18th. amendment will make the State of Pakistan more Democratic. But how does one make a State more Democratic which is an Islamic Republic?

    In Islamic Republic of Pakistan, people are Muslim, then the only way for them is to live according to the teaching of the Holy Quran and the Sunnah. There is no other alternative. No matter what Islamic path is chosen, one will always arrive to Islamic democracy and not to Democracy.

    Once it is accepted that a State is Islamic, the State as an independent and sovereign entity ceases to exist. It is Islam which governs the State as a sovereign power in the name of Allah. The people of an Islamic State belong to Ummah (the nation of Islam) and after they may belong to a geographical country, to a province, to a tribe or to a clan.

    The people (majority) of Pakistan belong to Ummah and the nation of Pakistan simply does not exist, despite of Pakistanis.

    According to following clause of the Article 2(A) of the constitution:

    “Wherein the principles of democracy, freedom, equality, tolerance and social justice as enunciated by Islam shall be fully observed;

    Pakistan will be an Islamic State or will Not Be. This particular article 2(A) emanates from
    ”The Objectives Resolution”. This resolution is the outcome of the vision of the founder of Pakistan Mr. Mohammad Ali Jinnah, who wanted that the religious (Islamic) origin of Pakistan be clearly stated in the constitution of Pakistan. Is it possible that the vision of
    Mr. Jinnah was a simple illusion or an Islamic mirage?

    As long as the article 2(A) is in the constitution, Pakistan will remain “Islamic Republic”. Any amendment or re-amendment will not change it to simple “Republic”.

    Good bye to Democracy.

    AHsn
    Strasbourg

  30. Arshad Hameed says:
    April 2nd, 2010 12:10 pm

    The much maligned and cursed Zardari did what the old players of politics throughout their life could not. A year ago, the show lickers and lap top warriors were much vocal to let down democracy, by enchanting it so-called and barren, but all are hiding their tail in their legs now. The remorseful and gloomy faces will definite be finding no place to hide. All these factors, together, tried their best to undermine democracy, every cheap tactics, abusing to a democratic president and even austerity drives were devised for this very purposes. But PPP was committed that democracy is best revenge, and practically proved. In sequence of achievements, just turn the page, the unprecedented achievements, either it was Aghaz-e- Haqooq-e-Balochistan package, senate elections, BISP, Benazir employed stock scheme, Zardari’s decision to donate his body parts, women bill and now 18th amendment, were extremely matchless. The old player of politics, are stunned with their fingers in mouth, they could not even bring such any change in their years of dirty politics. Concurrent list, the most thorny and controversial issue, that could not be resolved in 63 years, but PPP did it. How would you compare PPP with such dirty toads and crooked dogs, Pakistan Khappay.

  31. Tania Khan says:
    April 2nd, 2010 12:14 pm

    31st march was a black day for the believers of democracy and a mile stone in the democratic history of Pakistan. For the critics of Zardari and enemies of democracy, it was a slap on their faces. The media samurai, political toddlers and Supporter of Taliban must apologize from Zardari and Nation for their baseless propaganda. From the day one Zardari, entered in corridors of power, he announced that 17th amendment would be deleted but infidels did not believe and went on playing dirty politics. Mr. Zardari has a great knack for consensus building. There is no such example in the history of Pakistan. He has done so since coming to power. Today he has become a statesman and a great leader. It was not a lip service only, but Zardari by his virtues proved he is a democratic leader and for him national interests are important than personal gains, unlike some supporters of Taliban.

  32. Meengla says:
    April 2nd, 2010 3:49 pm

    @Tania,
    Correct. But read Cyril Almeida’s column in today’s Dawn.com : Due to an aggressive Zardari-centric judicial-activism Zardari cannot get slight respite even now. These judges would do ‘justice’ some honor by looking at far older, more dangerous violations of Pakistan’s laws by looking at the 14+ year ‘Mehrangate Scandal’. But of course that would involve paying attention to the deeds of the Generals and Hazrat Amir-ul-Mominoon Nawaz Sharif. And what about these judges’ own guilt of taking their oath under the Musharraf’s PCO? The Charter of Democracy is clear against those judges but that too is somehow conveniently forgotten.
    If Zardari only falls while the like of Nawaz Sharif, the Hamid Gul (who has admitted his guilt), Gens. Aslam Baig and Musharraf, and many others thrive then that would be one more unfair treatment of a PPP leader.

  33. Bin Ismail says:
    April 2nd, 2010 5:16 pm

    If all these honourable men were really serious about restoring the 1973 Constitution, in its original form, they should have simply repealed all 17 amendments, instead of adding to them an 18th.

  34. Sohail says:
    April 3rd, 2010 1:04 am

    I am not a Zardari fan but after seeing him present this ammendment, I also do believe that he’s washed away many of his sins and frauds. Whether he was arm twisted, blackmailed, forced, or duressed into presenting this Ammendment is irrelevant since every other blooksucking Member of the Parliament or General before the current bunch also had the power to bring about this change after great-foreign-minister-but-horrible-national-Leader-General-Zia brought about his self-serving, short-sighted, and dangerous ammendment that made him the supreme leader of Pakistan. Hugo Chavez of Venezuela is also busy doing to his country what Zia did to Pakistan. These idiots forget that they might have the best of intentions for their nation, albeit misguided and unilateral, but the next leader to possess their position may only be thinking about his bank balance, his family and friends, and his ethnicity and creed (Shia v.s. Sunni, Punjabi v.s. Mohajirs, Taliban-like v.s. Secular, etc.).

    One more ammendment that should be in there is the increment of all government employee salaries to be matched with the inflation rate. This could be the best way to fight corruption.

    I believe the start for Pakistan on the right path may have started. Now, it needs to fire the entire Police Department and start hiring a new department based strictly on MERIT.

  35. mcts says:
    April 3rd, 2010 5:11 am

    One more ammendment that should be in there is the increment of all government employee salaries to be matched with the inflation rate. This could be the best way to fight corruption.

    I believe the start for Pakistan on the right path may have started. Now, it needs to fire the entire Police Department and start hiring a new department based strictly on MERIT.

  36. Shahid says:
    April 3rd, 2010 1:27 pm
  37. Adnan Siddiqi says:
    April 3rd, 2010 2:05 pm

    It’s funny as well as lame that Zardari’s supporters are getting used to take credit of things which they never accepted it whole-heartedly. Be it restoration of judges, so called war on terror and now this constitutional drama.

  38. April 4th, 2010 11:34 am

    Some comments from the ATP Facebook Page:

    - “ye koi nia tareeqa hu ga pakistan ko loutanay ka….”
    - “Congratulations to every Pakistani.”
    - “An historical event for Pakistan.I hope we have buried dictatorship in our country for ever by devolving power to the provinces and leave only a small slice at the center to make it less attractive for the men in their boots.”
    - “bohat mubark ho pakistan.”
    - “It has to be passed by Parliament for the proposals to become a constitutional reality. Let’s wait and see what happens there !”

  39. April 7th, 2010 10:19 am

    It is something beyond imagination.. we don’t need a man having good moral background and keeping good record of his past, but we need a man on the Presidential seat which can take such bold steps like 18th amendment without any fear having tha balance between the National Institutions, Army will do their own job, the govt and judiciary their own .. although it z not enough but something is better than nothing……. an untrusty man is doing his job..and that is what we need as a nation.. it would be far better if the Parliament could pass this amndmnt with full support or majorty.. change is always better.. Zardari have done the job and it is his duty, it is what he has choosen for..
    A request to all Please don’t call yourself Punjabi, Sindhi, Balochi, Pathans, … call yourslf PAKISTANI..
    I am a Pakistani and hope You too..

    Masaud ul.haq IER Peshawar University Pakistan.

  40. Lateef says:
    April 9th, 2010 5:10 am

    This is great news, now we stopped the way of uniform visitors to our parliments. Now democracy will have 5years to fullfil its time and let see how they will do they work. Its gives bit of gurantee to the better democracy and new leadership. But we all know it will take long time to stand out in the world as a proper democratic country.

    Either there is democracy or marshal law, common people are bound to there rights, actually there is not right for poor or middle class person who have limited money, limited resources, limited PR and limited education. They are very limited to do any thing in their whole life, they do not know how to express their own rights, always afraid to police and other authorities. Even their children get high education MBA, MSc, Phd but still their voices not able to get to parliment’s big hall.
    They just stopped uniform players to play anymore because now they have their own world cup. After long struggle they closed these doors to outsider but what next. Politician just struggle for their own rights not for a common man, they do want to sit back for next 7 or 11 yrs anymore, they get bored what to do with that much money and power. What a waste.

    Please listen to your own people now, get together for loadshedding, inflation, crimes, basic problem of a basic, grounded man. We want you all to celebrate as much as you want when you will finish this uncertain loadshedding, when we easily could get sleep without fear of theifs, when our all children get their atleast 8 or 10 class education, when we will be sure atleast we all do have bread even not full meal. When even we have satisfaction of glass of clean water. Now its time you should get together for better nation, better Pakistan where laugh of success comes on your face after a common man smile.
    You are people who have been given this position by God or by people of God, respect the value of your personality and votes which has been cast you because there was not much alternative. You are not only Politicians (in Pakistan where powers surround you) you are Prince of your areas, you should act like that, come with a common men solutions otherwise you will be asking same help after sometimes.

  41. Watan Aziz says:
    April 9th, 2010 8:16 am

    Has anyone seen the text yet?

  42. Shahzad Ahmad says:
    April 10th, 2010 6:45 am

    Please follow the link for complete text of the 18th amendment. regards

    http://www.app.com.pk/en_/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=100264&Itemid=1

  43. Watan Aziz says:
    April 10th, 2010 9:17 am

    Nope, it is not the complete text.

    This proposed amendment is like a new constitution. So much is being added and subtracted that you need an updated copy of the constitution to make sense of it.

  44. Saba Kamran says:
    April 12th, 2010 7:57 am

    Congratulations to all Pakistanis that the 18th amendment was passed. This is a big step for Pakistan and may be now the politicians will have more time to solve the problems of the public unless like this blog states, http://yello.pk/blog/zabandraz/great-day-for-politicians-pakistan/12647, the same might happen as what happened in Krygystan.

  45. Salman Rasheed says:
    April 16th, 2010 10:46 am

    man i am so pissed off, i spent 1500/- just this december buying a commentary on the constitution

  46. pro bono publico says:
    April 18th, 2010 9:17 pm

    Without independent judiciary & election this whole 18 th amendment is a farce….It means that now both government & sitting opposition has decided to protect each other…In current political culture…18 th amendment is not a cure, though it may have got placebo effect…

  47. hira arshad says:
    April 19th, 2010 1:41 pm

    a good step from govt,s side but stilll….govenment have to notice many problems like load shedding,lack of food, un employment etc

  48. hira arshad says:
    April 19th, 2010 1:48 pm

    thank u…. this site really helps me….
    praying 4 good future of pakistan…..

  49. April 21st, 2010 9:37 am

    18 amendment is 50% joke. Nawazardari is a name of disease related to civil dictatorship. Do you people know, after 18th amendment now constitution says (more or less) there is no need to arrange party elections means zardari can be the head of PP and Sharif brothers can be president and party head. Deceiving full time!

  50. May 1st, 2010 2:07 am

    19th amendment should be introduced as soon as possible.president should be above party politics.party elections should made compulsory so that political dictatorship should be kicked out of pakistani democracy .

  51. Nadeem says:
    May 2nd, 2010 6:35 am

    Eighteen amendment not for poors it,s just a formality

  52. Zeeshan Asad says:
    May 3rd, 2010 8:12 am

    There is sham democracy in Pakistan this is not democracy but hipocracy. How can a party leader dismiss prime minister the party itself is a minority and combination of many paties so it should be decided by the parliment not by the defecto party leader.

  53. NAJEEBULLAH says:
    May 8th, 2010 6:15 am

    The 18th amendment is accepted by almost all the people of pakistan but pakistani nation is foolist nation of the world because it is only success for politicians not for republic.

  54. iftikhar says:
    May 31st, 2010 11:33 am

    when there is no democracy in a party itself then how it possible that it will bring democracy in the country ……..
    i am talking about the particular section from which they erase the point of inter party election……..

  55. sheema says:
    June 15th, 2010 3:38 pm

    how many ammendents will be brought to the constitution. this step has been taken number of time but no use. Is it constitution or a joke? after some days new ammenment is introduced in constitution.. the constitution is not been in its origional shape so far.

  56. July 6th, 2010 3:26 am

    The most dangerous amendment made in the constitution is that of abolishing the condition to hold elections with in the political parties. Political parties being nurseries of a democratic process, will turn into family enterprises with this amendments. Common workers of political parties will have no say.

    In summary, it is an undemocratic amendment.

  57. August 16th, 2010 4:33 am

    pakistani nation is very simple n innocent.they need to be learn more n more.they need to take stand along their right.unluckly most of our politicians not fair with their country.we need all educated people in our assemblies.

  58. Hassan says:
    August 19th, 2010 6:13 pm

    MQ

    It isn’t amusing.The objections to renaming the province are not from ‘Punjab’ but from the PML-N which rules the Punjab and intellectuals against ethno-centrism and like entities.

  59. Farhan Qureshi says:
    October 8th, 2010 1:22 pm

    I8th amendment is the right decision especially because of the removal of famed article 58 (2) (b), by which many of dictators has made wrong and unfavorable decisions which has hurted the pakistan reputation through out the world , though this draft is collectively made by the both houses of the parliament and representatives from all the political groups will undo the impacts of the 8th Amendment (enacted by Gen. Zia ul Haq) which had altered

  60. Adnan Baig says:
    October 20th, 2010 10:35 pm

    We have effectively divided Pashtuns using the same British blueprint in terms of territory(FATA,PATA,NWFP, FANA, North Baloch., Attock) and politically (no political parties allowed beyond NWFP), kept Pashto out of schools, kept the tribes divided, etc…We must continue to contain Pashtuns using elements loyal to the establishment, many pathans have served in Angrez and Sikh establishments’ administration for very little money and land. Also, using religion as Jinnah did for politics our Islamic Pakistan and English did to pit them against eachother has been effective. As we know Pashtuns can be manipulated in the name of Islam..while we in Punjab concentrate of building Lahore and progress using our Jinnah inspired secular ideals.

  61. November 19th, 2010 2:49 am

    The 18th ammendment seems to be a magnum opus in context and text but what the reality would be is the matter of time. The decision of having judicial commission for the appointment of the judges which will coprise of the various members seems to be a pure democratic. And the percentage of tremnating some of the ministeries is a good news. The participation of non-Muslims in the Senate also is good sign of future for Pakistan and minorities.
    The amendment for any individual or a group or a party or supports the military access or tries to bring military in the boundaries from the boundaries will be considered as traitor because none is superior to Pakistan and its constitution.
    One of the most amazing thing is the thing that the judges are away from selecting their-napots.
    In its practical form the amendment may be a practical pilitics of any party that realizes it! The constitution also repeals the previous Gens. amendments and is accepted by the Parliament is really a voice of people. If all the parties of the Country work together for the national welfare and development and according to the constitution, the Paksitani peoples will change themselves for the development as well.

  62. December 17th, 2010 12:15 pm

    18th amendment is a great piece of work on part of politicians as ways of despots have been thwarted by help of this text andcredit goes to ppp regime as they authored this important document and culiminated it on 18th amendment.i am highly impressed by this text so there is still hope that pakistan can be one of the greatest state which we have always thought of it and ppp under leadership of bilawal bhutto zardari will steer this country out of such crisis in future because he possesses hereditary political leadership qualities and ppp will never end to shed blood to save pakistan from retrogressive elements.

  63. jb says:
    December 22nd, 2010 3:42 pm

    will be 20th amendment with new article

    kuch na kaho .
    kuch bhi na kaho.
    kiya kehna hai.
    kiya sunana hai.
    mujh ko pata hai. tum ko pata hai
    samay ka yeh pal
    tham sa gaya hai .
    aur is pal main
    koi nahin hai
    bas ik main hoon
    aur ik tum ho

  64. attiya says:
    January 8th, 2011 1:29 pm

    18th amendment is indeed good work by the government. Abolishing the 58-2b will hinder the president from dissolving the government, which will ensure the government will continue for 5 years atleast.

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