Solved by Miss Laraib Rafique Rai
CSS Solved Pakistan Affairs Past Paper 2019 | How far the nature of the centre province relation has changed under various constitutional amendments? Evaluate. CSS 2019
In this question, the examiner asks you to evaluate the nature of Pakistan’s centre province relations in the light of various constitutional amendments. So, you are required to take a stance. Then write a historical background of the country’s central province relations. After that, hop on over to the current scenario. Next, give a chronological account of all the amendments concerning the federation. Then discuss the federal and provincial collaboration under the 18th Amendment separately as this is the main amendment relating to the question’s theme. After that, write the critical analysis and conclusion at the end.
The answer is solved on the given pattern, which Sir Syed Kazim Ali teaches to his students, who consistently score the maximum because of their attempting the questions. The content is based on historical facts taught by Sir Rameez Ch.
The relations between the federation and provinces have seen twists and turns and remained erratic since the country’s birth. However, various constitutional amendments have played a vital role in the transformation of the relations so far.
2- Historical background of the centre province relation in Pakistan
3- Current Scenario
- Lacking trust between the centre and its generating units on various issues
- Spurting concerns about the distribution of resources centre and provinces
4- A chronological sketch of the constitutional amendments concerning the centre province relations
- 8th Amendment: Empowered the centre
- 13th Amendment: Gave the governor the right to dissolve provincial assembly
- 17th Amendment: Re-centralised legislative and administrative powers
- The landmark 18th Amendment: Changed the disposition of the central province relations completely.
5-How has the 18th Amendment changed the dynamics of the centre province relation in Pakistan?
- By disseminating many legislative powers from the centre to the provinces
- By empowering National Finance Commission
- By enhancing the role of the National Economic Council
- By enriching the powers of the Council of Common Interests
Answer to the Question
The relations between the federation and provinces have seen twists and turns and remained erratic since the country’s birth. However, constitutional amendments have played a vital role in the transformation of the relations so far. As far as federal and provincial relations are concerned, several amendments to the Constitution of 1973 have directly or indirectly impacted bilateral relations. Mainly, the 8th, 13th, 17th, and 18th amendments are related to the central province relations in Pakistan. Whereas, among all the revisions, the 18th Amendment is the most important and comprehensive one. Evidently, there was a tug of war for legitimate power between the centre and the provinces before the endorsement of the 18th Amendment. Nevertheless, the 18th Amendment, a new chapter in Pakistan’s constitutional history, proved to be a major step towards strengthening provincial autonomy. Abolition of the concurrent list, empowerment of the National Finance Commission (NFC), enhancement in the role of the National Economic Council (NEC), and enrichment of the powers of the Council of Common Interests ( CCI) changed the dynamics of Pakistan’s politics and showed up a new road map for the centre province collaboration. Undoubtedly, the 18th Amendment was a positive step towards a strong federation. This question comprehensively discusses the transformation of the centre province relations under various Amendments, specifically the impacts of the 18th Amendment on Pakistan’s federation.
“With faith, discipline, and selfless devotion to duty, there is nothing worthwhile that you cannot achieve.”
(Quaid e Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah)
Pakistan’s federation has remained subject to many controversies since the beginning. Pakistan had lost the eastern province due to a lack of administration and willpower. Afterwards, four provinces and federally administrated tribal areas, having unequal area, population, and levels of socio-economic development, have made the country an unwieldy federation. The grievances of small provinces, ranging from economic to administrative, have added fuel to their miseries. Thus, under all the circumstances, the central province relations have turned into an intricate political and administrative debate among the country’s constitutionalists and federalists. Despite several amendments, forces favouring a highly centralised state structure prevented it from becoming a proper federation.
After decades, there are umpteen points of differences between the centre and the provinces in Pakistan. Still, the country’s federal and provincial governments stand apart from each other in various matters. Whether it is policy formation or the National Finance Commission (NFC) award, both the centre and the provinces often stay divided. Similarly, provinces have apprehensions, particularly the smaller ones, over cut in divisible fiscal pool share. The centre cuts the share of provinces in losses, which the federal institutions are making. Consequently, it adds tons to the provinces’ economic deprivation. On the contrary, provinces also show reluctance towards the centre regarding numerous socio-economic and political policies. In this regard, barriers to constructing dams and many other factors have worked as a roadblock in the federal and provincial smooth cordial relations. In a nutshell, both segments have somehow subdued the national interests while fighting for their respective rights and shares.
“If we realise our responsibility, time will come soon when we shall justify ourselves worthy of a glorious past.”
(Quaid e Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah)
Practically, few amendments have impacted the centre province relations directly or indirectly. Among them, the 8th Amendment is the first. Gen Zia made this Amendment to justify his dictatorship constitutionally. Consequently, the centre became more authoritative, and the provincial autonomy was compromised. After that, 13 amendments reverted the 8th Amendment and somehow empowered the provinces. It authorised the provincial governor to dissolve the provincial assembly. A few years later, The 17th Amendment, presented by General Musharraf, again revived the 8th Amendment. It reinstated the presidential system in Pakistan and empowered the centre by overlooking provincial emancipation.
Rationally, no previous amendment had brought any noticeable change in the central province relations the way the 18th Amendment has done. For this reason, it is considered the most important and landmark step in the country’s constitutional history. Basically, it is the 18th Amendment that has changed the nature of centre and province relation in the land of pure. It has redirected the country’s politics by granting the provinces an autonomous status. By abolishing the concurrent list, 47 subjects, including health, education, print and electronic media, population, environment, and so on, were handed over to the provinces for legislation, which, in turn, strengthened their power. In addition, it also enhanced the provinces’ financial autonomy by defining the provinces’ share in the National Finance Commission (NFC) award and other economic endeavours. It also empowered the provinces under the banner of the National Economic Council, enabling them to progress in every aspect. Likewise, the Council of Common Interests was made authorized, by an amendment in article 157, to resolve disputes between the federal government and a provincial government in terms of generation of electricity, distribution of natural gas and oil, construction of hydroelectric power stations, education, health, and social issues. Henceforth, all the amendments, in general, and the 18th Amendment have impacted the nature of centre province relations politically, economically, and socially. Overall, the 18th Amendment has actually amplified the provincial share in legislative and administrative spheres.
Nations thrive on the principles of unity, discipline, and equality. On the contrary, differences and divisions expose them to a host of challenges. Although various amendments have impacted the country’s central province relations in one way or the other, the 18th Amendment to 1973’s Constitution has categorically explained the domains of federal and provincial powers and their role in the country’s political system. Albeit, the rift between the centre and the province is as old as the county itself. Even during the critical time of Pandemic-Covid-19, the centre and the provinces stand at opposite poles. Without any argument, mutual funds cooperation and collaboration are indispensable for both federation and its units to make the country prosperous. For that purpose, both ends need to resolve their concerns and join hands to run the state peacefully.
By summing up, the centre and all the provinces are reciprocal parts of one another. Individually, no one can thrive and prosper without an effective contribution of the other. Therefore, leadership in both wings of the government and the opposition should take the onus for the sake of national development and growth. Moreover, issues and challenges hampering cooperation between the centre and the provinces need to be discussed and resolved, under the umbrella of the Council of Common Interests, amicably with fair opportunity and role while deciding any policy. In the endnote, harmony among the provinces and the centre could ultimately strengthen Pakistan politically, economically and socially. Not only this, but it might sew Pakistan’s positive image globally.
افراد کے ہاتھوں میں ہے قوموں کی تقدیر
ہر فرد ہے ملت کے مقدر کا ستارا
About Miss Laraib Rafique Rai
Miss Laraib Rafique Rai is one of the sterling students of Sir Syed Kazim Ali, one of the best CSS, PMS English language teachers in Pakistan. Under his proficient supervision, she is enrolled in a course of Online Creative English Writing and learning Basic to Advanced Grammar. She has done a Master in Political Science and is profound in writing articles on several topics- like national and international issues, Current Affairs, Science, Fiction, and many more.
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