The National Assembly has passed the 18th amendment and it would most likely be passed by the Senate as well. Unlike in the past, this time almost all political parties in parliament have cooperated to prove to the nation and the world that Pakistani politicians are also capable of solving highly complex and sensitive issues of national importance. There was a pall of pessimism until the last minute, a kind of nagging fear that these constitutional reforms would never see light of the day, a kind of inevitability that quibbling nature of the civilians would fail this worthy effort. But the government showed extraordinary flexibility and patience, giving weightage and respect of discussion to points of view of every member of each party. They even went the whole hog for a compromise with the nationalists who had summarily rejected it on the ground that provincial autonomy would be meaningless with Punjabs present dominance of majority in the National Assembly. Regrettably, these same nationalists who had been pleading for more provincial autonomy for the last 50 years dragged their feet on what was finally on offer. A divided house within themselves, they had a comeuppance now because they had always accused the PPP of selling its soul to Punjab and causing more damage to the interests of Sindh than any other ruler from other province. Now that the grievances of smaller provinces have been addressed at last, and (hopefully) the constitution would be restored in its true sprit, government and its coalition parties as well as opposition political parties of all hue should focus on making Pakistan a true welfare state tackling the multitude of crises directly impacting the lives of teeming millions such as energy crisis, hyper inflation, terrorism and a plethora of other issues. -GULSHER PANHWER, Dadu, April 11.