The PML-N has rejected reports suggesting that the Nawaz Sharif-led party was intending to alter the 18th Constitutional Amendment, which gave provincial autonomy during the PPP tenure.
“As the secretary of the party’s manifesto committee, I deny this news; no such proposal is under consideration,” PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb said in a statement issued by the party on Monday.
She was responding to a report published on Dawn on Monday while citing sources, claiming that the PML-N’s manifesto committee had received several proposals, ranging from reversing the 18th Amendment altogether to changing the distribution mechanism of financial resources among provinces.
The amendment is one of the hallmarks of the PPP. This issue was touched on by PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari while addressing the party workers in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Nowshera.
“They think that after a public gathering in Lahore, which too was arranged for them, they will win a two-thirds majority and amend the 18th Constitutional Amendment. It is better if we leave the decision up to the people,” Bilawal said.
Marriyum expressed her dismay at the lack of prior consultation.
“The chairman or secretary of the manifesto committee could have been contacted before reporting the unsubstantiated news regarding amendments to the 18th Amendment. Unfortunately, the opinion of an opposition political party was taken, but the opinion of the relevant party, PML-N, was not sought,” she said.
The former information minister claimed that her party has always pursued a policy aimed at enhancing the resources of all units under the federation. “Looking ahead, the party intends to further augment the resources of all units, including the central government.”
She went on to add that her party believed that local government institutions served as the “bedrock of democracy” and the PML-N was dedicated to “fortifying democracy”.