Pakistan Urdu Press: April 6-12, 2010
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  • Nawa-e- Waqt, Editorial, April 10, 2010

    Changing NWFP’s name will weaken the federation: Nawa-e- Waqt

    Commenting upon the approval of 18th Amendment Bill by Pakistan’s National Assembly, the Nawa-e-Waqt Urdu Daily says that the Amendment Bill has annulled the 17th Constitutional Amendment by the Musharraf regime by lifting the Constitutional ban on a person becoming Prime Minister for a third term. Other changes have been in the form of deletion of the name of Zia-ul Haque from the Constitution, renaming of NWFP as Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and abolition of the concurrent list from the Constitution, according to the Daily. The Daily also notes that the 18th amendment has deleted the clause of Article 6 that made it mandatory for political parties to hold internal elections.

    In this context, the Daily opines that “the 18th amendment bill goes beyond its task of abolishing Musharraf’s imprint on the Constitution and paves the way for establishment of ‘dictatorial democracy’.” The Daily says that through the amendment, Parliament has tried to amend the Constitution on its own and has tried to impose its supremacy on the Judiciary and the Press.

    As regards Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, the Daily says that an effort has been made to create a controversy by changing NWFP’s name. The Daily opines that the decision will “weaken the federation” as the decision will never be acceptable to non-Pushtoons in the NWFP. The Daily is of the view that Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa has already opened up debates for the creation of new states such as Sarekistan.

    Regarding the deletion of Constitutional clause that made it obligatory for political parties to conduct periodic internal elections, the Daily argues that the decision will sow the seeds of “personal dictatorship” within parties and will strengthen “hereditary politics” in the country.

    Ausaf, Editorial, April 9, 2010

    Pakistan should have nine provinces: Ausaf

    Commenting on the fallout of the 18th Amendment and public reaction in NWFP’s Hazara Division over changing the province’s name to Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, the Ausaf Daily writes that the people in Hazara are agitating and have demanded a new state for themselves. The Daily says, “If we talk about right, then the demand of the people of Hazara to create a new state is also right. They do live in Pakhtunkhwa but they speak a different language and they have a distinct culture that differentiates them from the Pashtoons. The Awami nationalist Party (ANP) should have understood this fact. But since the ANP failed to deliver anything, it thought it would be best way to satisfy the Pashtoons.”

    Citing the ongoing agitations in Hazara, the Daily suggests the creation of other new provinces within Pakistan. The Daily opines that “the time has come to split Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa into two parts and create a new state for Hazara. Similarly, Punjab should be divided into three parts: Southern Punjab, Central Punjab and Northern Punjab. Creation of Saraeki and Pothwar province will lessen the burden of ‘Lahore Throne’ and will provide new opportunity for the people in the region.” The Daily also suggests splitting Balochistan into two states: one dominated by Pashtoon and the other by Baloch. It also suggests separating Karachi from other Sindhi-speaking areas and establishing two separate states to be called Karachi and Sindh.
    The Daily concludes that ‘this would be a natural division’. It will have a positive impact on the nation when everybody will get recognition based on language, tradition and culture and suggests the ruling class to ‘coolly think over these suggestions’.

    Azkar, Editorial, April 09, 2010

    Impact of the 18th Amendment should reach to lower level: Azkar

    Commenting on the issue, the Azkar Daily writes that after the approval of Senate “the 18th amendment will become a part of Pakistani constitution.” The Daily notes that the abolished concurrent list has been only a paper work. 16 important departments will remain under the Centre and eight others have been shifted in Schedule IX.” The Daily says, “During the last 62 years the writ of the Centre over the provinces has been strengthened which has weakened the units and resulted in the ‘fall of Dhaka’. Considering the present situation in Balochistan and Sindh, provincial autonomy has become necessary.”

    The Daily argues that democracy is not a system but it is an ‘attitude’. If the society’s attitude would be democratic, democratic roots in the country will go deeper and without doubt democracy will flourish within political parties. In this context, it suggests that imposition of democracy over political parties by rule and regulations will not strengthen democracy. Democracy will only be strengthened when the feudal system is abolished and other democratic institution such as students and trade unions are allowed to grow. The article concludes by welcoming the 18th amendment but urges that its impact should reach to lower level without which the exercise would not be fruitful.

    18th Amendment Bill can leave a positive impact on Pakistani politics: Opinion Poll

    An opinion poll on the 18th Amendment Bill suggests that a majority of Pakistanis welcome the Amendment, since they believe that it will leave a good impact on the country. Against the backdrop of approval of the 18th Amendment Bill by the National Assembly, the Asas Daily asked respondents whether the 18th Amendment Bill would leave a positive impact on Pakistani politics. A majority of 6584 respondents replied “Yes”, while 4382 respondent responded “No”.

    Q. Would the 18th Amendment Bill leave a positive impact on Pakistani politics?

    (Poll Conducted on April 09, 2010)