Fazl, Mengal vow to defend 18th Amendment, blast NFC Award cuts

By: News Desk      Published: 05:48 PM, 20 Jun, 2020
Fazl, Mengal vow to defend 18th Amendment, blast NFC Award cuts

JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rahman on Saturday said the government statements about the 18th Amendment were very alarming and they would not accept any reduction in the NFC (National Finance Award) Award share of provinces.

He also demanded an immediate end to the FC powers of arrests, saying that the unconstitutional and arbitrary detentions were unacceptable.

Addressing a press briefing after an All Parties Conference organised by the JUI-F in Islamabad, the seasoned political leader shared these views as he read out the declaration agreed upon at the gathering.

“The change in the NFC Award is actually a conspiracy to roll back the 18th Amendment which would be resisted,” said the JUI-F chief. 

The opposition political parties attending the meeting also called for increasing the powers of the Senate and eliminating all the death squads working in Balochistan.

As the provinces are already critical of the federal government led by the PTI over the slashing of their respective NFC Award shares, Fazl said Balochistan had been ignored in the CPEC. “We consider PTI and BAP as twin brothers,” remarked Fazl in his typical sarcastic manner.

Speaking on the occasion, BNP-M chief Akhtar Mengal said they were not interested in what the ruling alliance was doing as his party had left the government. “We will not support the Finance Bill,” he made it clear.

Not only the BNP-M but also the entire Balochistan join the PTI if the government solved the problems, said Mengal, in an apparent jibe at Prime Minister Imran for his ineffectiveness. “We brought the issue of Balochistan to the Parliament from Twitter,” he added.

Mengal added that he could not make the decision of joining the government again on his own as it was up to his party’s general council.

Replying to a question, Fazl called for sentencing the government, saying the court decision in favour of Justice Qazi Faez Isa showed that the presidential reference was based upon mala fide intentions.

The two leaders also said that the decision about tabling a no-confidence motion against the Balochistan chief minister would be taken by the provincial chapters of their parties. In the case of Centre, they added, they were eyeing the Senate elections.

Earlier in the day, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari demanded full NFC (National Finance Commission) share and told a press conference that they would move the court over the unconstitutional cut in the amounts to be transferred to the provinces.

Leader of Opposition Shehbaz Sharif will convene an all parties’ conference on the issue soon after his recovery from the coronavirus infection to formulate a joint stance, he added.

The NFC Award would have to be followed as it is a constitutional mechanism, said the PPP chairman.

Bilawal also warned that no one would be able to control the situation if people came out on the streets over issues like the 18th Amendment, NFC Award, inflation and missing persons.

The PPP chairman criticised Imran for his recent statements about the 18th Amendment and the NFC Award, saying his assertions were actually against the 1973 Constitution. There won’t be any compromise on the 1973 Constitution, he made it clear.

Those who believe in the 1973 Constitution, NFC Award and devaluation of powers to provinces should leave the ruling alliance, Bilawal remarked.