Pakistan

Pakistan Constitution | What is the 18th Amendment and its impacts

Story Highlights
  • Overview
  • The Positives
  • The Negatives
  • Conclusion

The 18th Amendment to the Constitution of Pakistan was a major constitutional reform passed in 2010 and signed into law by President Asif Ali Zardari.

This article will summarize the most critical points about the 18th Amendment and its effects on Pakistan’s political landscape and development.

Overview

The 18th Amendment transferred several powers and responsibilities from the central government to the provinces, including legislating on various issues, such as education, health, and agriculture.

The 18th Amendment also created the National Finance Commission (NFC), which is responsible for redistributing financial resources among the provinces. In addition, a new National Commission for Human Rights and a Council of Common Interests were also created.

It also changed the election process by introducing a secret ballot and establishing a caretaker government to oversee the transition between different administrations.

The Positives

One of the essential positive effects of the 18th Amendment has been the devolution of power from the central government to the provinces. This has led to a greater degree of decentralization in the country and has allowed the provinces more control over their affairs. This has helped to reduce tensions between the central government and the provinces and has permitted those provinces to better address the needs and concerns of their constituents.

The creation of the NFC has also positively impacted the country. The NFC is responsible for redistributing financial resources among the provinces, taking into account the needs and resources of each province. This has helped to reduce tensions between the provinces over the distribution of resources and has played a vital role in promoting more significant economic development and social justice in the country.

The establishment of the National Commission for Human Rights and the Council of Common Interests have helped to promote greater accountability and transparency in the government and have helped to protect the rights of citizens.

Introducing secret ballots and establishing caretaker governments have helped ensure free and fair elections and have contributed significantly to the stability and democratization of the country.

The Negatives

One concern about the 18th Amendment has been the impact of the devolution of power on the central government’s ability to govern the country effectively. Some have argued that the transfer of powers and responsibilities to the provinces has weakened the central government and has made it more challenging to address national issues and concerns.

There have also been concerns about the implementation of the NFC. While the commission has helped to distribute financial resources more fairly among the provinces, some have argued that it could have been more effective in ensuring that the resources are used efficiently and effectively.

There have also been concerns about the distribution of resources between urban and rural areas, with some arguing that urban areas have received a disproportionate share of resources.

Conclusion 

The 18th Amendment was one of the most significant amendments to the constitution. It changed almost a third of the constitution and significantly altered the framework of the government. It was bound to attract vast amounts of positive and negative attention, and it did. However, it was a step in the right direction, away from dictatorship and towards a democratic Pakistan.

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