The process of Constitutional reforms reached a crucial juncture last week when the interim report of the Steering Committee was handed over to the Constitutional Assembly.
This is a crucial point since groups with conflicting ideologies had made their proposals which have now taken shape as an interim report. However, there is a long way to go. The content of the interim report has to be debated following which the outcomes of the debates would be handed over to the steering committee.
The committee will then draft another report based on the results of the debate and hand it back to the Constitutional Assembly to be debated again. The committee will then make the changes yet again and then hand it over to the Cabinet for approval. The content will also be sent to the Attorney General’s Department and the Supreme Court to check the Constitutionality of the document. The Supreme Court will direct the necessary changes that need to be made following which it would be given back to Parliament for a debate and vote. Based on the Supreme Court determinations, the Parliament would have to decide whether to go for referendums or not.
So, it is a long process indeed. But, the good thing is that the process is already underway and inevitably there would be a decision reached. The reforms is keenly awaited by the politicians and the citizens of the North and East. They are keen to see how the new Constitution would bring about a permanent solution for the ethnic question which had divided the country for decades. On the other hand, when people are quite hopeful and optimistic of their future, there are those who are not.
Though eight years had passed since the end of the war, there are people from the Northern and Eastern Provinces, especially from the former, who are trying to obtain asylum from various countries in the West.
There are some who have legitimate reasons for their decision, while some seek greener pastures just to move out of the country. Most of them who want to leave are compelled to do so due to their economic situations. Many of them were directly affected by the war and continue to struggle to look after their families since they lack the necessary infrastructure for their livelihood.
However, it has been eight years and they have had a long enough time to assess, and reassess their situation here, and to get a thorough understanding of the environment. Therefore, they should have also learnt to look after themselves instead of depending on others, or looking out for greener pastures.
The political issues will be solved by the politicians. But the people will have to look after their day-to-day issues on their own.
Published in the Nation on September 23, 2017