Greater autonomy to provinces is more injurious
I think we must elect a Chairman who can decide all these disputes and keep order.
May I say a world please? (He speaks in a slightly raised voice and all the other candidates at once get attracted by the confident tone in his voice). The examiner said that this is an informal discussion, different from an official debate. It means we have to do without a chairman, mover, seconder, leader of the opposition and similar paraphernalia. We can, therefore, express our views as we are now. Now as to what Nos.3 and 7 are saying, there appears some slight misunderstanding. If I understand No.7 correctly, all he implies is that he is opposed to the proposition and not to the subject. In other words, he wishes to speak against the motion or I should say proposition.
that is absolutely right.
Okay. Now let us decide as to who should speak first and how long each one can take in the first round. No. I agree, I mean we all agree. What is your suggestion?
No.5. Let us start with No. 1 and proceed in a clockwise direction; that is, No, 1, 2, 3 and so on.
No.2. (Coughs a couple of times and steadies his voice): Friends, thank you all for giving me the honour to speak first. But you see this is more a political subject and myself being a Science student I do not have very much to say. I am sure other speakers like No.5, 3 and 7 with have a lot to say on it. As you all know, we are having democracy and we are pledged to have Socialist democracy. Everything must be viewed from this aspect. More autonomy or less autonomy I think is unimportant so long as we achieve socialist democracy. Democracy is the rule of the people and by the people and, and …… starts thinking as he is unable to remember the next phrase of the quotation. The other candidates like 8, 6, 4, lose interest. No. 3 shakes his head indicating disapproval in an unconscious manner. No.7 loooks on with a superior air. No.5 listens with interest and prompts the phrase and comes to the rescue of No.2.
No.2 has some verbal facility and is able to express himself with reasonable fluency. But his upper story appears to be blank and lacking in ideas, he resorts to waffling. Further, he starts off on a diffident and under-confident note. Earlier we saw a clash between No.3 and No.7. Both appeared to be rigid and selfish. No.1 has some confused idea and has no capacity to assert him. He also displays noticeable reluctance to shoulder responsibility and spurns the opportunity offered to him to speak first. Similarly No.8 also proves un- enterprising and dull. In contrast, No.5 displays leadership, drive and forcefulness. He is ale to find workable solutions to the problems confronted by the group and distinguishes himself as an able co-ordinate. The other candidates have remained mere passive spectators so far.
No.3. Mr. Chairman and brother candidates, initially I wanted to speak against the motion. But as you saw, Mr. No 7 said he was going to speak against. I, therefore, humbly decided o speak for the motion Greater autonomy mean what? It means more powers to the Provinces like Punjab, NWFP, Sindh and Baluchistan which are parts of Pakistan. Even today each province has which are parts of Pakistan. Even today each province has its own Chief Minister and Council of Ministers. These people can do whatever they want to within their province. Now we find each province doing everything in its own regional language. Actually we have linguistic province in Pakistan and it is causing harm to the unity of the country. There are border disputes and quarrels in sharing river waters and food grains, etc. then there is the question of giving jobs only to the local people or so called sons of the soil. Like that, educational facilities are also denied to propel belonging to other provinces. Now the Central Government can dismiss a Ministry of a province which indulges in anti-national or illegal activities. The President can impose President’s rule. With province autonomy it will not be possible. If we do not have unity, the country will become weak with inter province feuds and wars. Then an enemy like India can easily defeat Pakistan. I, therefore, appeal to you to support the motion and vote against No.7. Thank you.
No.3 has fair ideas but his power of expression is somewhat weak. However, because of his urge and personal enthusiasm, he has been able to make a reasonable impact on the group. Unfortunately his rigidity and antagonism against No.7 persists. He appears to lack the social adaptability and co-operative attitude. He is creating friction and hindering the group activity. No.5. Friends, the question of province autonomy in Pakistan is a current and controversial subject which is being debated with lot of heat and emotion in various parts of our country today. As you all know, the constitution of a country can be classified as unitary or federal. In a fully unitary constitution. The power to legislate on any subject will vest with the Center. In contrast, in a fully federal constitution such power will vest in the provinces except in a few areas, where by common consent, the federating provinces may have given some of these powers to the Federal Government. For instance the Center may only have powers relating to External Affairs and Defense. The rest may remain with the constituent units. But in most cases there is by and large a compromise. The Constitution lists the subjects over which the Center can legislate and those over which the federating Provinces can legislate. But then there is what are called residua powers are with the various Provinces. In Pakistan they are with the Center. In other words Pakistan is more unitary than federal and the Center has greater powers. Pakistan historically was a unitary Government, ruled by British before our constitution was promulgated. Right through our history, we fell a prey to the successive invaders, due to lack of unity. But Pakistan happens to be a vast country with various languages, civilizations and cultures. To preserve these regional treasures and yet to keep Pakistan united, we struck a balance and evolved the present constitutional arrangement. In the case of America, 48 independent States surrendered their sovereign status to bring into existence the U.S.A. this is not the case with Pakistan. Besides, our people are mostly illiterate and swayed by emotional oratory. We already witness so many lashes, linguistic quarrels, regional feuds and so on. If the Center is not strong, with uneven economic development, there will be rivalry, waste and war among the various component provinces. Even now the greedy politicians have started many troubles. The very idea of linguistic provinces is poison. To stand against our enemies and to survive we need a very powerful Central Government. Greater province autonomy, as matters stand today will only lead to greater misery, rivalry and quarrels. Now we want internal peace to make economic progress, to ensure even and equitable distribution of national wealth. In view of our past history and present educational level, greater autonomy will only result in great harm. What we need today is a very strong and capable Central Government.
We have already seen that No.5 has commendable leadership traits. Now we see that he enjoys extensive knowledge and presents his arguments in a rational and convincing manner.
No.6. [Although it is his turn to speak now, he maintains silence].
No.5. No.6, it is your turn to speak how. Would you like to give your comments please?
No.6. (Shakes his head). No comments.
No.5. Would you like speak later on?
No.6. No, on. I support all.
No.5. All right No. 7, you may take the floor now please.
No.6 proves to be a dumb and tongue tied individual devoid of ideas and drive. He has wasted the opportunity provided to him and appears to be lacking in urge. He is a burden to the group.
No.7 Well gentlemen, please listen to me carefully. I will definitely prove to you that whatever No.3 said is all totally wrong, absurd and incorrect. It is al non-sense. Please tell me why people from Punjabi speaking province should come and thrust Punjabi down the throat of those people who have never spoken that language. They may be in a majority, but if you take the whole of Pakistan, that is Pakistan’s total population, those who speak the other languages are in a majority and those who speak Punjabi are in a minority. In any case, to each his language is important. No one should have greater advantage compared to another. The right thing is to have English as the language of the Center and regional languages at their respective provinces. The Center should look after Defense, Foreign Affairs and Currency. All else should be managed by the respective province. If people remain illiterate and poor, one has to blame the Center only for it. I urge you to fight for your rights and not be deceived by the foolish and wrong arguments of No. 3.
No. 7 has ideas and speaks fluently and forcefully. However, socially he is rigid, narrow minded and selfish. He is emotional, vindictive and quarrelsome. He proves to be over-bearing and highly authoritative. He is likely to cause splits and opposition in an organization.
No.8. It is now my turn to speak. After what you all have said, I am afraid I have nothing much to add. Although there is some truth in what No.7 said, I feel, on the whole, greater province autonomy will lead to internal quarrels among provinces. Already we have so much trouble. In spite of the authority now enjoyed by the Center, we still have to face the ‘sons of the soil’ policy. There fore to maintain the unity of the country, it is better we maintain the statue quo.
No.1. I agree with No.8 and my views are exactly the same. Nothing further to add.
A mere passenger and ‘yes’ man. Does not exert him and has not made any original contribution. No keenness or urge on his part. A dull and uninspiring candidate lacking the ability to make any impact on other.
No.5. Well gentlemen, do any of you have any further comments to make?
No.3. I would like to repudiate No.7’s arguments which are all prejudiced and imaginary. But you all know it and the majority in the group, or for that, all but No.7 in the group support my view. Therefore I don’t want to give any importance to what he said and waste my time. I prefer to ignore him.