Implementation of 18th amendment an uphill task: Gilani

Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani describing the passage of 18th amendment as a big achievement towards strengthening the parliament has said its implementation is an uphill task.

The 18th amendment envisages provincial autonomy and establishment of council of common interests and several other uphill tasks but the government with the cooperation of the nation is determined to implement it on war footing, the prime minister said in an interview with PTV news on Saturday.

He said that Senator Raza Rabbani has been entrusted the task to work towards the implementation of the amendment to promote democracy and strengthen institutions.

He said a consultation process with the political parties has been started to strengthen the implementation committee and he has already made contacts with the PML (N) Quaid Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and JUI (F) Chief Maulana Fazal ur Rehman in this regard. He said he has requested the two leaders to nominate their members for the committee in order to ensure its implementation forthwith.

Describing the implementation of the 18th amendment as an uphill task, the prime minister said it envisages provincial autonomy and establishment of council of common interest, expressing the confidence to implement it with the cooperation of the people.

The prime minister said the government is pursuing the politics of reconciliation and all the political leadership is united on one platform to resolve all the confronting challenges. He said the government respects the mandate of all the parties and consensus on different matters was not imposed on us rather the result of goodwill. He said the reconciliatory politics have also brought different political parties close to each other and now they trust each other more than ever before. Mr. Gilani said that we would move forward in accordance with the constitution

Responding to a question, the prime minister said that the 18th amendment comprising of 102 clauses has been adopted unanimously however there were reservations of some quarters on two of its clauses. He said the nomenclature of the NWFP has been changed keeping in view the voice of the majority of the people. We respect the mandate of each party and province’s name was changed as Khyber Pakhtunkhawa after the adoption of a resolution by the provincial assembly, he added.

The Prime Minister said that dialogue would be held with the people of Hazara division to remove their grievances and sense of deprivation, as it is the prime responsibility of the government to take care all parts of the country without any discrimination. He said the Khyber Pakhtunkhawa government would also be taken on board on the matter in order to resolve their issues. He said the government regards the opinion of the comman man as the era of dictatorship has been replaced by a democratic system.

Mr. Gilani said that Pakistan Peoples Party has always been struggling for the rights of the comman man and Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto had also waged his struggle for the people and not for the sake of power. He said our great leader Benazir Bhutto sacrificed her life for the rights of the people and the strengthening of institutions including the judiciary and the media.

To a question regarding intra-party elections, Mr. Gilani said that Political Party’s act already exists under which all the parties are bound to hold elections within the party. There is no provision of intra party elections in the 1973 constitution, but we are conducting the elections within the parties, he maintained, adding he government has no objection over making the Political Party’s act more effective.

Mr. Gilani said we are pursuing the path of democracy as the President who is also Co-Chairman of PPP has voluntarily surrendered his powers to the parliament, which is an ample proof that the party is against the dictatorship.

Responding to a question, the prime minister said the country is facing many challenges and we should work jointly to consolidate and strengthen the country. To remove the grievances of the past sixty-three years, he said the government has taken steps to ensure provincial autonomy and decisions in this regard will be implemented so that people could get their rights at their doorsteps.

Responding to a question, Mr. Gilani said that all institutions are passing through an evolution process and gaining strength but they should work within constitutional ambit. He said he does not see any confrontation among the institutions. He said that the parliament is no longer a rubber stamp and taking decisions independently.

He said there is unprecedented political stability in the country and all the political parties are working hand in hand for the resolution of problems. He said he is focusing on the political stability as it is vital for the economic progress of the country.

Referring to the dividend of the consensus politics, he said the four chief ministers and other political leadership sat together in the energy conference and put forward their recommendations to overcome the electricity shortage. He said the recommendations will be implemented by the government.

Answering a question regarding steps taken by the government to cope with energy crisis, Mr. Gilani said that the government is working on short and medium term measures to overcome the problem. He said coal, solar and nuclear sources will be exploited to provide cheap electricity to the people. He said the present government is delivering and has the goodwill to resolve their problems, appealing to the masses to demonstrate patience.

He said that a Gas Conference would also be organized on the pattern of energy conference.

To a question regarding UN commission’s inquiry report, Mr. Gilani said that Benazir Bhutto was a leader of international stature but she was not provided sufficient security on her return home by the then government. He said a fact-finding team comprising personnel of Army and Police has been constituted to determine the facts behind the hosing down of assassination site. He said the team would submit its report within a week.

About the war against terrorism, Mr. Gilani said the whole nation like a rock wall has supported the government in anti terrorist operations in Swat and Malakand division that produced good results, forcing militants to flee.

He said there is realization in the world that Pakistan is a frontline country in the war against terror and had sacrificed both in terms of human and material. He expressed the confidence that the world community will be more forthcoming in assisting the Pakistan . He said Pakistan does not need aid but trade and wants greater market access to Europe .

The Prime Minister to a question replied that the governance mean to provide justice, provincial governments should ensure law and order and security situation. He said however, the total implementation of good governance is the responsibility of the provinces.

Answering another question about Pak-India relationship, Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani said that dialogue is the only way forward for resolution of all outstanding issues between the two countries. The talks held at the secretary level are different of those should be held with the political leadership.

The Prime Minister said that Pakistan ’s participation in the World Nuclear Summit in the United States speaks for itself that it is responsible country and its nuclear assets are in safe hands.

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