Feb 05, 2007

Sindh: Provincial Autonomy Moves Forward

The Sindh government is preparing a report on provincial autonomy which will be presented to the Provincial Cabinet.

Below is an article published by The International News;

HYDERABAD: The Sindh government is preparing a report on provincial autonomy, which will be presented to the provincial cabinet on the directives of the chief minister, a provincial minister said on Saturday.

The committee, comprising Senior Minister Syed Sardar Ahmed and Sindh Inter- Provincial Coordination (IPC) Minister Dr Sohrab Khan Sarki, has been assigned the task to compile the proposals in this regard.

Sarki stated this while presiding over an interactive dialogue on the topic of “National Integration and Provincial Autonomy” organised under the aegis of the IPC Department of the Sindh government here.

The minister said the recommendations would be forwarded to the federal government after its approval by the provincial cabinet, as the government is committed to providing maximum autonomy to the provinces.

He hoped that a bill on provincial autonomy would be presented in March or April. He added that such interactive dialogues would also be organised in Karachi and Sukkur.

The minister gave credit to the present government for taking up the important issue of provincial autonomy and added that the Constitution guarantees abolition of the Concurrent List but the issue was never taken up in the past.

Provincial Secretary IPC Mahtab Akbar Rashdi said individuals could make a difference and clarified that the dialogue is not being organised on somebody’s directive.

Intellectuals and scholars, including Prof Syed Qavi Ahmed, Prof Liaquat Aziz and Prof Miskeen, supported the provision of maximum autonomy for the provinces.

Jami Chandio said that President General Pervez Musharraf has not fulfilled his promises for the last many years. He called for a new social contract.

He demanded restoration of democracy before provincial autonomy.

He said the office of the governor and district governments should be abolished and regional languages should be declared national languages.

Paryal Bughio of the Sindh National Front (SNF) said that his party has been calling for the provision of provincial autonomy for the past many years, adding that the 1940 Resolution should be implemented so that the issue could be resolved.

Hashim Leghari, provincial secretary planning and development, said that a committee should be formed to ascertain the provincial autonomy issues since 1843 for restoring the rights of Sindh.