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‘Rolling back 18th amendment or changing NFC will undermine federation’

F.P. Report

Peshawar: “The muted murmurs about rolling back 18th amendment and changing NFC formula to fund ever rising security expenditure without accountability will alienate the provinces and undermine the federation by pitting federating units against the federation”.

This has been stated by former Senator Farhatullah Babar at an orientation program organized by PIPS for the members of KP assembly at a local hotel in Peshawar today.

Disregarding the constitutionally mandated division of division of powers between state institutions and the systemic weakening of the Parliament has already undermined the federal structure of the state, he said.

The civil-military bureaucratic complex refuses to answer parliamentary questions and judicial independence appears to have become independence from law and Constitution made by the Parliament, he said.

Elaborating he said that judicial independence appeared to have gone far too far when fine is slapped on an errand MPA to raise money for building dams. When parliamentary question about allotment of scores of acres of land to a retired state functionary is dismissed with an angry tweet it only shows contempt for the Parliament.

He said that democracy was a process that rested on the tripod of rule of law, transparency and accountability. However, only parliamentarians were subjected to microscopic scrutiny, painted black and victimized in the name of accountability.

Farhatullah Babar said that accountability is critical but it will be a charade unless it was across the board and there were no sacred cows. There is not one good reason why parliamentarians, ministers, civil servants, judges and generals all paid out of state exchequer are not subjected one and same accountability law, he said.

He urged the MPs to make full use of constitutional bodies like the Senate, the Council of Common Interest, the National Finance Commission and the National Executive Committee to ensure rights of the federating units.

Farhatullah Babar said that a huge stumbling block in the way was that some institutions assumed powers beyond the Constitution and were controlling the ship through back seat driving while refusing to be held accountable. Federal and provincial parliaments need to press their collective wisdom and power to remove this stumbling block, he said.

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