18th Amendment can be improved with a review: President Alvi

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ISLAMABAD: President Arif Alvi has said the 18th amendment which gives power to the provinces, a law and just like any other law, can be reviewed and changed. 

The president was speaking in an interview for Geo News’ programmeGeo Parliament on Sunday where he that said that talks between the federal government and provinces have taken place on the issue between the federation and provinces. 

“There are always disagreements and differences between the government and the provinces. These have been there since independence. The 18th amendment is a law and just like any other law, it can be reviewed and changed,” he said.

“There has never been a discussion to shelve the issues of Sindh government,” the president said.

When asked about the recent sugar and wheat scandals that had come to light, the president said that corruption had always been present in the country. He said that if the incumbent government had let corruption continue as it been allowed to fester previously, then all the institutions would end up with the same fate as the Pakistan Steel Mills.

“Reports of investigations [sugar, wheat] along with reports of the last four plane crashes had never been presented [before]. The government opened the investigation [into PIA] knowing its cost. I believe those responsible should be removed. Heads should be removed,” he added.

Responding to a question about reports of pressure on the bureaucracy amid investigations by NAB, President Alvi said there were only five cases against bureaucrats out of the 1,300 cases in total being probe by the anti-graft body.

“NAB’s laws are satisfactory and those who have an issue with them can file a petition against the Bureau,” he said, adding that investigations should be done into the Malam Jabba, Billion Tree, BRT and other plans as well.

President Alvi talks about Jahangir Tareen, COVID-19 pandemic

When asked why Jahangir Tareen Khan, a senior PTI leader and one of the accused in the sugar scandal had left the country, President Alvi said the government had not sent him abroad. “I think he will come back and defend himself,” he said.

Talking about the spread of the coronavirus pandemic and precautions needed to stem it spreads as the country gears up to celebrate Eid-ul-Azha, the president said there should be an ijtemai sacrifice. 

He added the government had come up with policies for Eid-ul-Azha just like it had done so at the time of Eid-ul-Fitr. “I have recommended that provinces not establish cattle markets and if they do, then they [markets] should be away from the city,” the president added. 

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