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Coronavirus Coronavirus Updates Politics

Changes In 18th Amendment An Attack On Provincial Autonomy

Imran Khan’s attempts to change the 18th amendment should be considered as attacks on the federation of Pakistan, argues Umair Solangi.

Pakistan is going through a very tough period under the Coronavirus outbreak. The pandemic is spreading at an alarming speed due to the federal government’s incapability. Talking about changes in the 18th amendment at such a critical time is both hilarious and worrying. Instead of going for a complete lockdown, forming a coherent policy on dealing with the coronavirus, and coordinating with the provinces, the federal government is thinking about taking their autonomy away.

Some people think that the government has created an issue out of the 18th amendment at this time only to divert the attention from the forensic report of the sugar and wheat crises that was due to be released on April 25. One thing is clear. The attempt on the 18th amendment is more likely to cause the downfall of the Imran Khan government, which is barely surviving with its razor-thin majority.

At a time when the Sindh government is performing far better than the other provinces and the federal government, even the mention of the 18th amendment proves that Imran Khan is panicking under pressure because it is the 18th amendment which allows the Sindh government the freedom in decision-making. When Imran Khan was unable to take a clear line, Bilawal Bhutto came forward and proved himself a national leader. Sindh took the lead and the other provinces followed.

But instead of cooperating with the provincial government, federal ministers are busy conspiring against the Sindh government. It seems that each minister has been given the task to do propaganda against the Sindh government daily. PTI leaders in Sindh can be heard in an alleged audio clip viral on social media telling their local supporters to film the women of their families complaining about the corruption in ration-distribution.

Haleem Adil Sheikh has played the worst role in this case. I’d say that if Sheikh is sincere with the people of Sindh, he’d be speaking up against the proposals of changes in the 18th amendment and the NFC Award.

It is also a test for Sindhi nationalist leaders and the GDA. Whoever sides with those trying to change the 18th amendment will be considered an enemy of the people of Sindh. Imran Khan should focus on eliminating Corona rather than doing away with the 18th amendment. The nation will stand behind him. But it is sad to see him still indulging in divisive politics at such a critical moment. He is trying to divide the nation at a time when it needs unity the most. His attempts to change the 18th amendment should be considered as attacks on the federation.

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