ISLAMABAD: President Dr Arif Alvi said that there was no question of revoking the 18th constitutional amendment; however it could be modified to bring improvements only after the consensus among the federating units.
In an interview with a private television channel, the president said the country could not be run as one unit and the 18th amendment was meant to devolve powers for what the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf had also struggled.
However, he called for the capacity building of the provinces as there was ample room for improvement in the governance and reforms, particularly the taxation.
To a question, he said the 18th amendment was not more sacred than the constitution and if the constitution could be amended, then why not the 18th amendment, he questioned.
He said the issue of payables by the center to Sindh government should be debated at Council of Common Interest and the province’s reservations should be addressed.
To a question, the president said the country had moved out of extremism and terrorism, so it was now heading towards economic progress.
He said being nuclear power and one of the most beautiful countries in the world and rich with generous people, nothing could deter Pakistan to achieve progress.
He said the direction of the national economy had been set and it would take sometime to accelerate the economic growth. He said the national economy would get a kick start after the upcoming budget and finalization of the terms and conditions with the IMF.
He said, at least verbally, all the political parties were on the same page against corruption. He said it was the masses which bore the brunt of corruption in the past, in form of inflation or taxes.
To a question about the differences between the PTI leaders, he said it was unsuitable as the party’s internal matters should have been discussed with the prime minister, not publicly.
He said during next National Assembly session, he would sit in his chamber at Parliament House to meet the parliamentarians from all parties once in a week.
Responding to a question, he said the clerics must teach the people about cleanliness, civic responsibilities, malnutrition and breastfeeding to create a social revolution.
Asked about the president’s role and powers, he said he was briefed and updated regularly about the foreign policy, national security and legislation.