The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz admitted on Saturday that it plans to revisit the 18th Amendment to the Constitution. Party leaders addressing a press conference told reporters that the party intends to implement the amendment in its spirits and wants to complete it by introducing further devolution of powers.
“The 18th Amendment is incomplete as it was aimed to devolve powers from centre to masses. The powers have been devolved from the centre to the provinces. However, it is powers are not devolved from provinces to the grassroots,” Secretary General of PML-N Ahsan Iqbal told media in Lahore on Saturday.
The plan is part of the party manifesto, he said, adding that PML-N wants to delegate powers to the local governments.
The confession comes in the background of the Pakistan Peoples Party’s claim that the PMLN was siding with powers that be to rollback the 18th Amendment, which was passed by PPP and PMLN jointly in 2010 and which granted greater powers to the provinces in the federation of Pakistan.
Iqbal, Rana Sanaullah, and other PML-N claimed that the PPP was stoking unnecessary fears about the amendment.
Sanaullah said that PML-N was not planning to roll back the amendment.
Last month, the party rejected reports suggesting that it 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 November 20.
Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) was also reported to have created a draft for bringing changes to the 18th Amendment of the Constitution.
Sources close to the party said that powers must be delegated to the grassroots level, saying that only the chief minister has been empowered after the introduction of the 18th Amendment.