Peoples Resolution

WHEREAS the people of Pakistan have in the past six decades been denied the rights and benefits of the citizenship of an independent and sovereign state;

WHEREAS the provinces of Pakistan have not enjoyed the autonomy promised in the Lahore Resolution of 1940;

WHEREAS the country has failed to evolve institutions of peace, human security and service delivery that has perpetuated the insecurity of life and livelihood of the people, and made them perennially vulnerable to shocks;

WHEREAS inequity in various forms abounds and is in fact encouraged by the state and its institutions whose actions exclude the poor, the minorities and the socially or politically marginalized from access to justice, opportunities and control over resources;

WHEREAS the disconnect between interpretations of the interests of the state and the interests of its citizens is growing;

WHEREAS the perpetrators of violence and persecution, in the name of religion or custom or a contrived Pakistan ideology are allowed to roam free without fear of reprisal;

WHEREAS the helplessness of the state against militancy and extremism is proof that the state has not only failed in its role as a protector of life and property but has also failed to dispense justice which has led to a meltdown of law and order, and increased the trust deficit between the state and the citizen,

THEREFORE, concerned citizens gathered together in People’s Assemblies all across the country and voiced their support for a social contract.

NOW, this Peoples Assembly held at the birthplace of the Lahore Resolution on its seventieth anniversary, as a collective voice of all the People’s Assemblies held hitherto,

RESOLVES that adequate, effective and mandatory safeguards must specifically be provided in the Constitution of Pakistan to all citizens including non-Muslims for the protection of their religious, cultural, ethnic, linguistic, economic, and political rights and interests, in consultation with them. These safeguards must encourage transparency and accountability, the pillars of a true democracy with a view to creating a politically stable and socially responsive state that ensures all its citizens a life of dignity.

That equal opportunity and rights must be ensured to all citizens through the strengthening of institutions and the supremacy of the parliament that through its laws, policies and governance mechanisms transforms it from a security to a welfare state and a judiciary that dispenses justice to all with independence and equity. It ought to become a state that provides justice, quality healthcare and education, and livelihood for all citizens; a state that promotes peace in the region through a policy of non-interference and regional trade with all particularly its neighbours, and a state that lives in peace and actively enables its citizens to do so.

It is also the considered view of this Assembly that no constitutional plan would be workable in this country or acceptable to its people unless provinces are autonomous and governed according to the aspirations of people of the province that exercise complete control over their resources that are used equitably for the benefit of the citizens.

It is the sense of this Assembly that the parliament must frame all laws and oversee their implementation so as to protect citizens particularly the poor and the marginalized from oppression; the state must protect the rights of all its citizens through the provision of justice and the rule of law that holds people, particularly the powerful, accountable for their acts and omissions.

The Assembly further resolves that a social contract must be framed between citizens, and between citizens and the state. All laws and mechanisms for their implementation must be in harmony with this document and all conflicting laws must be repealed. All policies, international and inter-provincial relationships, must conform to the collective will of the people expressed as the social contract.