JWP proposes amendments for greater provincial autonomy
QUETTA: The Jamhoori Watan Party (JWP) submitted a new version of a draft of constitutional amendments regarding provincial autonomy to the joint parliamentary committee evaluating the Balochistan situation, Senator Ammanullah Kinrani and Agha Shahid Bugti, general secretary of the JWP, said at a joint press conference on Sunday.
The two leaders said it was a good sign that finally, after 57 years of independence, all political parties agreed that provincial autonomy was a major issue. Senator Kinrani said he had attended a constitutional committee meeting that discussed provincial autonomy and all members had been asked to submit their views on the subject. Political parties would submit their report that would be discussed point to point in next meeting. He said the new draft contained issues relating to Balochistan’s autonomy.
Bugti said the JWP had submitted a 56-point constitutional amendment bill to the Senate in 1998, covering all aspects of provincial autonomy. He said the federal government considered it when Tariq Aziz called on Nawab Akbar Bugti in Dera Bugti in August 1998. He said the federal government had accepted a few minor points, rejected all points that sought to contain presidential powers and had categorised a large number of points as “negotiable”.
Bugti said the fresh draft sought more power for the senate and provincial assemblies as well as more balanced representation for the party thought the current representation in Senate was unbalanced.
Bugti said the joint parliamentary committee was too large and would take too long to arrive at decisions. However, he said, Baloch nationalist parties would not sabotage negotiations and would support the committee. The joint parliamentary committee of the Senate and National Assembly currently has 38 members and two subcommittees. Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain had initiated the committees to resolve the Balochistan issue once and for all.