KARACHI: Doubting Pakistan Muslim League-N’s assurances, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) insisted on Thursday that a multi-party coalition under its former ally is being formed only to roll back the 18th Amendment to the Constitution after the general elections.
The party also suspected that the PML-N is “conspiring” the entire plan to bring all parties on board, aiming to secure a two-thirds majority for another constitutional amendment that would ultimately render the 18th Amendment null and void.
“A few politicians while sitting in the comforts of their drawing rooms are becoming part of this conspiracy,” said PPP Sindh chapter president Senator Nisar Khuhro during a ceremony at Arts Council organised in connection with the party’s foundation day celebration.
“I appeal to all my friends not to become part of this move, which is equivalent to an attack on the 1973 Constitution. I can only appeal and convince them; otherwise, the PPP will stand firm and won’t let this happen,” he said.
He claimed that a propaganda campaign was ongoing to create an impression that the larger revenue share of provinces in the National Finance Commission is causing serious financial challenges for the Centre. He called PML-N supremo no different from Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan when it comes to the distribution formula of resources.
“During PTI government, Imran Khan [the then PM] ruled with the same mindset and tried to create an impression that provinces were causing financial damages to the Centre,” he said.
“Nawaz Sharif is no different. He also wants to cut the provinces’ share. But let it be very clear that the distribution mechanism of financial resources among the provinces doesn’t only benefit Sindh. This 18th Amendment actually benefits every single province, not Sindh alone, and ultimately strengthens the federation. Any move against this arrangement would only weaken the federation.”
He accused Nawaz Sharif of making deals whenever PML-N became part of the opposition and always sought a “safe exit” while his party was facing challenges on political turf.
“First, he [Nawaz Sharif] made a deal with dictator General [Pervez] Musharraf and went abroad, and then in the PTI government, he made a deal with Imran Khan and flew out of the country,” said Senator Khuhro. “If this is not enough to judge his political character, look at his fast-changing stances on democracy. First, he voted in favour of 18th Amendment in the name of provincial autonomy, and now he’s conspiring against the law.”
He vowed that if the PPP won majority in the Feb 8 polls, it would give more powers to the provinces and appealed to the “democratic forces” of the country to join hands with the party for a strong parliament.
“The PPP, in this election, is standing alone against all anti-democratic forces that are joining hands only to defeat one party. Their approach puts a serious dent to the prospects of democracy,” he added.
Published in Dawn, November 24th, 2023