Text of President’s Speech (Signing of the 18th Amendment Bill)


Signing Ceremony of

Eighteenth Constitutional Amendment Bill


Mr. Prime Minister

Speaker National Assembly

Chairman Senate

Members of Parliament

Leaders of Political Parties


Distinguished Guests

Ladies and Gentlemen


My head bows in gratitude before Allah for the opportunity today to sign the Eighteenth Constitutional Amendment Bill.

It is indeed a great honor for me to have signed into law this Bill that seeks to undo the undemocratic clauses introduced into the Constitution by undemocratic rulers.

It is a historic day, a historic moment.

In marks an important milestone in the struggle of our people on road to democracy.

I wish to thank the Parliament and the nation for the honor shown to me.

I wish to congratulate all members of the Constitutional Reforms Committee and its Chairman Senator Mian Raza Rabbani for accomplishing this task.

I congratulate all the political parties and their leaders for rising above party politics and agreeing to Constitutional reforms based on consensus Amendments.

It shows that our political parties and leaders are capable of rising above petty partisan considerations.

They have belied those who claim that our political leaders are unable to rise, unable to deliver.

Our political parties have demonstrated that they are capable of achieving great heights.

It is a measure of their patriotism that they have put aside personal and partisan considerations in a true national spirit

I realize that there were moments when some thought that the Amendments will not get passed from the Parliament.

There were some people who feared that the Parliament would fail.

These were indeed anxious moments.

But collectively we resolved our differences and made history by restoring the 1973 Constitution.

Once again I congratulate every one for this historic achievement.

Indeed we have reasons to feel proud.

Ladies and Gentlemen

We have adopted national reconciliation as our compass.

It is a result of the policy of national reconciliation that collectively the nation has achieved so much.

Despite pitfalls and disappointments the nation has been able to achieve

-Political ownership of the war against militancy and the beginning of retreat of militants and extremists. Significant successes have been achieved in the war against militancy.

-The Seventh National Finance Commission Award

-Political Reforms in Gilgit-Baltistan


-Reconstitution of the Council of Common Interest

And many more successes

These are no mean achievements.

Ladies and Gentlemen

The Constitutional reforms Bill that I have signed into law is the first major Constitutional reform package during the last more than thirty years.

It is fundamentally different from piecemeal constitutional amendments that have been made from time to time in the past,

The piecemeal amendments were forced upon the nation through executive order by un-elected rulers only to legitimize their rule.

Those amendments were not introduced for the benefit of the people or the cause of democracy.

The credit for the first major constitutional overhaul goes to the democratic process and the policy of national reconciliation.

It is a moment of great satisfaction- indeed of pride- that the Constitution has been made truly democratic and federal in character, and provincial rights and Parliamentary sovereignty have been restored.

I am particularly delighted that the Seventeenth Amendment has been repealed.

I am very happy that the people of Pukhtoonkhwah have finally got their identity- an identity that eluded them for the past many decades- as their province is renamed as Khyber Pukhtoonkhwah.

Ladies and Gentlemen

The ceremony here today and the gathering of the leaders and Parliamentarians of all political parties is a demonstration of the glory of democracy and power of reconciliation

It shows that democracy and reconciliation can work wonders.

The Constitution that was first given to the people in 1973 had the backing of all political parties and provinces.

The first major Constitutional Reforms Package after more than thirty years also is backed by all provinces and political parties.

Just as the nation made great progress after the adoption of the unanimous Constitution in 1973, we hope that it will make similar progress after the adoption of the Constitutional Amendments.

It is my hope that the nation will once again be driven by a sense of purpose, just as it was, when the Constitution was adopted in 1973.

It is my hope that the doors of dictatorship have been closed for ever.

Ladies and Gentlemen

Let no one think of subverting the Constitution.

Gone also are the days when state institutions upheld the subversion of the Constitution.

A lesson of today is that our Parliament is capable of delivering

It is also a lesson of today that we can achieve so much through reconciliation and by setting aside our personal egos.

Let us on this day pledge to pursue the path of reconciliation for the greatest good of the greatest number of people.

Let us on this day also pledge that we will uphold the supremacy of the Constitution.

Ladies and Gentlemen!

Now that we have achieved a milestone in Constitutional reformation and in giving rights to the provinces, we must devote our full time and attention to the problems of the common people. These are problems of load shedding, unemployment, inflation and law and order.

I call upon all political parties and leaders that just as they joined hands to reform the Constitution, they should now join hands in the same spirit to find solutions to the problems of ordinary citizens

We will pursue the path of reconciliation just as we decided to do even on the day when Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto was martyred and some advised us to choose the path of confrontation.

Ladies and Gentlemen!

Let me conclude with what Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto said in his historic address to the National Assembly of Pakistan on August 14,1972 and

I quote “there was only chaos, there was neither hope nor faith, only dark shadow of defeat and uncertainty. But we have lived to see a new dawn, a new hope, a new day”.

Thank You

Pakistan Paindabad



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