THIS refers to the article ‘Re-centralisation’ (March 25) by Cyril Almeida. While having his habitual bash at the ‘boys’, for once the writer conceded that rather than enhancing democracy as is claimed, the 18th Amendment was motivated mainly by a desire to weaken the centre and thus preclude martial law.
Also, that it was not done in the best possible manner: in secrecy rather than with an open discussion to ensure that the pros and cons of each clause were discussed threadbare, so as to remove weaknesses that would open it to misuse.
Given the ‘gentry’ that we have in the top leadership of major parties, any reform of the system is just not possible. What we need is a clearing of the decks — with the bulk of the present top leadership thrown overboard — and the holding of fresh elections with the rigid application of eligibility conditions. With a fresh and honest breed of parliamentarians forming a dedicated government and an effective opposition, one could hope for the country being put on a path to progress. Such a government could also bring back the massive, looted wealth from abroad and use it to reduce the crippling loan burden and revive the economy.
Published in Dawn, April 1st, 2018