The 20th


Another impressive show

And the Senate finally passes the 20th amendment. It was a near unanimous vote with only the JI voting against the amendment; the Jamaat’s days in the Upper House are numbered since they will go out upon the completion of the Senate elections so the vote could have been unanimous were it held some days later.

With the passage of the bill, a more trustworthy mechanism for caretaker setups in elections will be adopted. Haters will hate, of course, with out-of-parliament parties like the PTI and, soon, the JI, making claims that the government and opposition have arranged for interim setups more suited to them. Other than that – politics will be politics – the 20th amendment is yet another proof of the fact that our parliamentarians can work together in evolving a consensus on all issues. It wasn’t all smooth sailing; it is never supposed to be. In the Senate, for instance, the ANP, undoubtedly the most steadfast ally of the PPP government, had plenty of reservations. The reservations of opposition parties, then, could be understandable. But they were resolved. Legislation in general and constitutional amendments in particular are a slow, measured dance that involve many concessions on all sides. The PPP’s inclusive policy might have been necessitated by its woefully low numbers in the House but, giving credit where it is due, it hasn’t done too bad a job at it.

On another note, it appears that the bill’s passage through the Senate was also made possible by certain perks and privileges to the members of the Upper House. If only a same level of dedication for other affairs of the state.


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