CITY: (Senators wary of Inter-Provincial Coordination, ‘Demands for provincial autonomy must not be viewed as demand for secession’)

ISLAMABAD: Two Senators speaking at an interactive session expressed their dissent over the prevailing inter-provincial coordination on the issues of provincial rights and the working of the Council of Common Interests.

“Demands for provincial autonomy must not be viewed as demand for secession and demands for fair provincial share and protection of citizen rights are the best evidence of patriotism. Misconstruing it as demands for secession is unfair and unjust”, said Senator Dr Jehanzeb Jamaldini.

Senator Dr Jehanzeb Jamaldini of BNP-M and Senator Mohammad Mohsin Khan Leghari were speaking at an interactive session on Inter-Provincial Matters and Coordination arranged by the Pakistan Study Group on Federalism (PSGF) at National Institute of Historical and Cultural Research, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad here, says a press release issued here on Wednesday.

Senator Jamaldini pointed out that 81 out 84 Baloach chieftains had pledged their allegiance to the state of Pakistan in a meeting with former president Pervaiz Musharraf. He demanded provision of considerable share in mineral resources, fair gas prices and fair development of infrastructure to Balochistan.

He also demanded better distribution of national wealth viewing unfairness in services and shares had been causing dissatisfaction, resentment and poverty in his province.

Senator Mohammad Mohsin Khan Leghari emphasized on the need of taking devolution of power to the citizens through local government. True spirit of devolution of power means that power should not stop at federal or on provincial levels rather it must go to the citizens where it belongs.

Answering a question about performance of inter-provincial coordination mechanisms such as the Council of Common Interest, he said these institutions must fulfil their constitutional obligations in true spirit of devolution of power. He said that CCI must present its annual report before the Parliament as soon as possible.

Responding to a question, Senator Mohsin said democracy is a process of on job learning. The more work you do, the more you learn. He emphasized on the need of people to people contact by saying it is the people who weld nations together.

The closer they are the stronger a nation gets. He asked for a compassionate coordination between various units of federation.

Later on, talking to media Dr. Sajid Mahmood Awan, Head of the PSGF said that peripheral voices should necessarily be counted in the narrative of federalism to strengthen the federation of Pakistan.

He further reiterated that spectrum of inter-provincial coordination should also be extended to intra-provincial coordination through inter-human coordination across the country.

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