Academic journal article Journal of Sociological Research

18th Amendment and Its Impacts on Pakistan's Politics

Academic journal article Journal of Sociological Research

18th Amendment and Its Impacts on Pakistan's Politics

Article excerpt

1. Introduction

The pattern on which a state is formed effects the nature of distribution of powers. Where previous distinct units create a state by giving up their some severing powers to centre there centre can enjoy only some exclusive federal powers along with concurrent powers and residuary powers remained to units. America, Australia and Switzerland are the best examples through a process of devolution only the provincial and concurrent but some states had adopted the nomination of both power like India and Pakistan. "Ideal distribution of power between governments in a federation to be one in each government also was able to act independently within its own water right sphere of responsibility. But concurrency has many advantages two. It Provide an elements of flexibility in the process of Law making". If there is no concurrency in the constitution it has two advantages. It gave autonomy to the federating units and at demand there bounders of responsibility for each order of government. (1) After the elections of 2008 PML-N suppressed the PPP to act upon the Charter of Democracy and PPP also wanted to visualize its manifesto in which party made commitment to work for provincial autonomy. For this purpose a 27 members Special Committee on Constitutional Reforms (SPCCR) was appointed. Notable feature of this committee was the representation of big parties like PPP, PML-N and MQM which was only 9 while other 18 members were taken from small ethnic groups of small provinces. Senator Mian Raza Rabbani was chosen as the head of the committee. SPCCR served 385 hours on deliberations about new constitutional package. It received 982 proposals about the provincial autonomy. When it was moved in national assembly for voting 292 votes came into its favor and none in opposition. In April 2010 it was moved in senate for its passing and it received 90 votes in favor and passed from senate without any position. It was passed by National Assembly on April 8, 2010, Senate passed on April 15, 2010 and president signed it on April 19, 2010.Here role of President of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari cannot be neglected who not only prepeared to shift his powers to the Prime Minister and parliament but also facilitated the task. (2)

2. Salient features of 18th amendment

2.1. Enhanced role of Parliament

To 18th amendment is remarkable in this way that it's restored true parliamentary system in Pakistan. It transferred important presidential powers to prime minister and parliament and this extended the role of parliament in dissolving the assembly, appointment of governors of provinces and in declaring emergency in the country along with these other changes made in the constitution are as:

i. National assembly is bound to hold its first session after the general election on 21st day if president not summoned the session before this day.

ii. Hundred working days are fixed for senate despite its previous 90 days and days for recommendation on money bill has been increased from 7 to 14, religious majorities for the first time are granted 4 seats in senate which increased its total strength from 100 to 104.

iii. Authority of president to hold referendum is abolished and granted to parliament. Now decision for referendum will be made by the joint sitting of parliament. President will work as nominal head of the state and will be informed about all matters of internal and external importance and about legislative measures. Schedule No.6 and 7 are abolished and it empowered the parliament for amending all laws.

iv. Article 62 and 63 are modified to some extent relating to the qualification and disqualification of members for election to parliament. Election will be held within 90 days of expiry of existing assembly.

v. Appointment of judges was another issue. The procedure for this purpose was adopted is that a free and fear judicial commission will nominate the judges and a joint committee of governmental and opposition leaders will appoint the judges. …

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