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Overview of Article 153 of the Constitution of Pakistan
The Constitution of Pakistan, adopted in 1973, serves as the cornerstone legal document that guides Pakistan. Within its pages lies Article 153 which establishes a Council of Common Interests (CCI). This council plays an invaluable role in facilitating cooperation and coordination among both federal and provincial levels of government.
Article 153 States
153. Council of Common Interests
- There shall be a Council of Common Interests, in this Chapter referred to as the Council, to be appointed by the President.
- The Council shall consist of-
- the Prime Minister who shall be the Chairman of the Council;
- the Chief Ministers of the Provinces;
- three members from the Federal Government to be nominated by the Prime Minister from time to time.
- The Council shall be responsible to Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) and shall submit an Annual Report to both Houses of Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament).
Key Points of Article 153 of the Constitution of Pakistan
- Establishment and Appointment: Article 153 marks the creation of the Council of Common Interests, emphasizing its significance in the constitutional framework. The President holds the authority to appoint members to this council, ensuring a balance of power.
- Composition: The composition of the Council is meticulously outlined, with the Prime Minister serving as the Chairman and Chief Ministers of the Provinces holding membership. Additionally, the inclusion of three members from the Federal Government, nominated by the Prime Minister, underscores the federal-provincial collaboration envisaged by the Constitution.
- Responsibility to Parliament: The Council of Common Interests is not an autonomous body. Instead, it is accountable to Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament). This accountability is reinforced by the requirement to submit an Annual Report to both Houses of Majlis-e-Shoora, fostering transparency and legislative oversight.
Crux of Article 153 of the Constitution of Pakistan
At its core, Article 153 embodies the spirit of cooperative federalism, promoting dialogue and consensus-building among diverse stakeholders. The inclusion of representatives from the federal and provincial governments in the Council of Common Interests ensures that decisions reflect the diverse needs and perspectives of the entire nation.
This constitutional provision acts as a mechanism to address issues of common interest, offering a platform for discussion and resolution. The dynamics of federalism are delicately balanced, promoting unity while respecting the autonomy of individual provinces.
Conclusion: Article 153 of the Constitution of Pakistan
In conclusion, Article 153 stands as a testament to the foresight of the framers of the 1973 Constitution of Pakistan. It establishes a framework for collaborative decision-making, recognizing the unique needs and aspirations of both federal and provincial entities.
As Pakistan navigates the complex terrain of governance, Article 153 remains a linchpin, fostering unity in diversity. It not only outlines the structure of the Council of Common Interests but also symbolizes the commitment to shared governance, a cornerstone of the constitutional ethos.