By Sultan Ahmed - Dawn 15-08-07
As Pakistan celebrates its 60th birthday with some people having almost everything they want, and the rulers having a low public rating, some of the deficiencies have become too glaring.
The basic deficiency is the lack of national integration or cohesion which had earlier resulted in the loss of half the country following a stunning military defeat.Then, we have not been able to integrate the vast tribal areas with the mainland. Tribal maliks or sardars rule the roost in their areas and sit in the national parliament making laws for the whole of Pakistan which do not apply to the areas to which they come from. This is a blatant contradiction but only one of the main contradictions in our polity.
In addition, foreigners have infiltrated into the tribal areas and engage in deadly combat with the Pakistani troops in which many die. This is a major failure of our political system.
The provinces concede to the centre enough authority to administer the federation and in return the centre is to recognise the need for adequate provincial autonomy. The provinces want their rights to be part of a balanced federation. But what is constitutionally the right of the provinces has been denied through the political process as the centre nominates not only the governor but also the chief minister and several ministers.
The senior officials of a province who are nominees of the central government support the centre in case of tension between the two. That abridges the provincial autonomy further. This problem could be overcome if the Indian administrative model is followed in Pakistan. In India, the IAS officers who are selected by the centre are apportioned to the provinces to become part of the provincial setup and when the centre needs some of them it borrows them from the provinces but the officers remain loyal to the provinces they come from.
What is stated in the Constitution in favour of... [continues]
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