A meeting of the Senate Functional Committee on Devolution was held on Monday. Senator Taj Haider chaired the meeting; that was attended by, Deputy Chairman Senate, Mirza Muhammad Afridi, Senator Muhammad Akram, Senator Haji Hidayatullah Khan and senior officers of the Cabinet Division, Ministry of Inter-Provincial Coordination along with its attached departments and agencies.
The agenda of the meeting entailed deliberation over the future of Coordination between Federal Government and the provinces under 18th Constitutional Amendment. The Committee brainstormed ideas on how to ensure that subjects under the 18th Constitutional Amendment are devolved completely.
The Committee asserted that it is essential that members go beyond party lines to ensure that the country is driven on the right path. It was emphasized that provincial and Federal governments must work together to ensure the country’s progress. Confrontation must be changed ino meaningful consultation, the Committee discussed.
In order to ensure that grievances of provinces are addressed, the need to maintain timelines and avoid overlap was stressed. The Federal Government must not interfere with devolved subjects, the Committee added.
In order to bridge the trust gap between federating units, the Committee recommended the need to promote students exchange programs between student departments and institutions. In addition, the Committee also recommended to form a holistic view of the devolved subjects to ensure that a stringent plan is formulated; using principals of policy for guidance.
The Committee, while recognizing that the process will be slow, recommended calculated movement. It was also suggested that the Committee must minutely study one single subject at a time for more clarity. The presence of all stakeholders including provincial and federal representatives was stressed in the meeting.