18th Amendment should be revisited: Farogh

ISLAMABAD, Mar 17 (APP):Federal Minister for Law and Justice Barrister Dr Farogh Naseem on Thursday said there was a need to revisit the 18th Constitutional Amendment as it had technical lacuna.
Addressing the National Police Conference, the minister said the amendment was not a divine law. It was undemocratic attitude of the political parties, which were warning of consequences if the 18th Amendment were revisited, he added.
He said “our forefathers” sacrificed their lives to create Pakistan, which was to have a federal structure, and that idea was fully encompassed in the 1973 Constitution framed by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.
He said although the 18th Amendment had many good things, yet it had some clauses against the basic structure of the 1973 Constitution as it had affected the country’s basic federal structure by making the provinces part of the confederation instead of the federation.
He said Pakistan could never adopt a confederal system of government as it had a federal structure and it should remain so, therefore, there was need to revisit the 18th Amendment.
Discussing the police reforms, he said the police had always be a punching bag. Like lawyers, doctors, engineers, parliamentarians and other institutions, there were black sheep in the police also, however, the society could not survive without police. The police and the armed forces had given countless sacrifices in the war against terrorism, he added.
He said all the institutions, including judiciary, armed forces, police, civil bureaucracy and parliament should be respected, but at the same time it was need to weed out the black sheep from them.
He said the bill regarding criminal law reforms containing 750 amendments had been tabled in the Parliament, which after its passage would bring a great change in the society.
The police’s performance was affected due to lack of funds, and now under budgetary reforms, even remote police stations would also get their due budget, he added.
He said that main resistance in the law reforms was by the legal fraternity, and urged the lawyers to play their role in removing the barriers.
He said the government had enacted the inheritance law and now the citizens were now getting succession certificates and letters of administration through NADRA in only 15 days instead of four to six years.
The minister said the government was steting up a state of the art forensic laboratory in Islamabad. The law for video and audio recording evidence was being enforced, he added
Video recording had been improved in Islamabad to make the evidence more workable, he added.
Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed chaired the first session of the conference, while Law Minister Dr Farogh Naseem chaired the second session.
Riaz Fatyana, Chairman National Assembly Standing Committee on Law and Justice, Senator Talha Mahmood, Members of National Assembly Shandana Gulzar and Nafisa Khattak, former inspectors general of police Afzal Ali Shugri, Fayyaz Khan and Iftikhar Rashid, Director General of Legal Aid Authority Dr Rahim Awan, Shafiq Qureshi and Adnan Rafique attended the function.
Former IG Shoaib Suddle, Chief of Police Bureau Wajid Zia, DIG Operations Punjab Police Kamran Adil, Director Police Bureau Saqib Sultan also spoke on the occasion. The audience also made suggestions and raised questions regarding police reforms.

APP/muk-amk