Parliamentarians call for HEC devolution


ISLAMABAD – Members of the National Assembly from both sides of the divide on Tuesday emphasized the devolution of the Higher Education Commission to the provinces for a better education system in the country.
Speaking on point of orders, the members said that the Parliamentary Committee on 18th Amendment of the Constitution had unanimously recommended that the powers of HEC should be devolved to the provinces.
PPP-Sherpao chief Aftab Ahmed Khan Shepao appreciated the 18th Amendment, saying that nobody was expecting provincial autonomy in a way that was given under the historic amendment.
He said that the provinces would not be able to handle the responsibilities to be given to them under the provincial autonomy unless the burden was transferred to them.
He said taht whenever the topic of provincial autonomy was discussed the people used to say that provinces have no capacity. Such attitude must be avoided, he remarked.
Sherpao said monitory devolution of the HEC was very necessary because when the provinces would get the budget they would be in a position to improve the education system in a better way.
He said a segment was opposing the HEC’s devolution while making the fake degree cases of some parliamentarians as an issue for their own motives.
He mentioned that the parliamentary committee, which had the representation of all the political parties in the Parliament, had unanimously adopted the devolution of HEC powers. Not a single dissent note or observation was given by any parliamentarians at that time, he added.
PML-Q leader Amir Muqam endorsed the viewpoint of Aftab Sherpao and said that all the state institutions should define their jurisdictions and nobody should interfere in the Parliament’s jurisdiction.
He said that the matter of devolution should not be made as an issue and powers should be transferred to the provinces under the constitution.
ANP leader Bushra Gohar said that the implementation commission had the representation of all the political parties and nobody should be in doubt about their intentions as what they were doing was in accordance with the constitution and reflection of people’s aspirations.
She said that the Parliament had approved the provincial autonomy and it should be implemented in letter and spirit to remove sense of deprivation among the provinces.
Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination Mian Raza Rabbani assured the House that the issue would be resolved, adding that the implementation commission was examining the devolution process from different angels.
Its report would be submitted to the House for recommendations of the parliamentarians, he added.
He said that the 18th amendment was the property of the House and the people of Pakistan and the Parliament would protect it at all costs.