Citizens’ oversight of the 18th amendment

Peshawar,Despite its passage over four years ago, two successive governments of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have made no progress on implementation of 18th amendment in letter and spirit.

This was discussed during a one-day conference on ‘Citizens’ Oversight on Implementation of 18th Amendment in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’ organized by the Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI) in collaboration of Citizens’ Voice Project – USAID, here on Wednesday.

CPDI launched a comprehensive analysis on implementation status of 18th amendment in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa here on Wednesday. 18th amendment, passed in April 2014 was heralded as one of the most comprehensive constitutional reform package after the 1973 constitution.

The respective amendment introduced 102 amendments and transferred constitutional, legislative, policy formulation, administrative, and financial powers to the provinces concerning 17 ministries and departments related to social welfare and public service delivery.

Considered as a pre-requisite for strengthening of the federation through empowering federating units, the amendment faces a number of challenges to its implementation. Some of the challenges highlighted during the conference included lack of capacities of the respective politicians, public officials, and masses at large, confusion on understanding of roles and responsibilities between province and the federal government, and lack of an operational framework that may serve as a guiding principle to the much longed for implementation of the amendment.

Given these challenges, speakers and participants of the conference agreed on following measures: Respective policy makers, public officials, journalists, civil society representatives, and citizens should be educated on the contours of 18th constitutional amendment; a formal consultation process should be started where input from respective communities and other stakeholders should be solicited and documented; capacity of the political representative and higher public officials should be built; the federal government should prepare modules and booklets that may serve as reference points for the public officials and policymakers alike; an annual scorecard should be conducted to measure progress on implementation of the respective amendment.

The conference was attended by Speaker Provincial Assembly Asad Qaiser, Minister for Education Atif Khan, Senior Minister (KPK) Inayat-ullah-Khan, member Awami National Party (ANP) Haji Adeel, Senior Journalist Raheem-ullah Yousafzai, Amer Ejaz (Executive Director-CPDI), CPDI Program Manager Syed Kausar Abbas, former education minister (KPK) Sardar Hussain Babak, former education minister Meraj Hamayun, Member National Assembly Ayesha Gulalai, Iftikhar Durani (Governance specialist), Senior Anchor Absaar Alam and Fareeha Idrees, Secretary Higher education Farah Hamid, senior secretaries of provincial government and other senior politicians of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf, Jamat-e-Islami, Awami National Party, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (F) and Pakistan Peoples’ Party.
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