Where Is The CCI?

In a carefully planned republic like Pakistan, tools like the Council of Common Interests (CCI) are important bodies to balance powers between provinces. According to the constitution of Pakistan, the CCI must meet at least once every 90 days. However, despite the joint opposition’s repeated requests to call a meeting of the CII, and despite tensions in provinces being at a high, the government has not scheduled any CCI meetings so far to deliberate upon inter-provincial pending matters.
It is inconceivable why the government would not be incentivised to use a tool granted by the constitution to resolve intra-provincial matters. Tensions are high particularly between Sindh and the federal government. This is not just a temporary problem borne out of the different political parties governing the centre and Sindh—contentions regarding water-sharing schemes and Indus River System Authority (Irsa), that have flared up again between Sindh and the federal government go back to the 1991 Water Accords and even before that.
Rather, water distribution and the changing of the Indus Water Tributaries is an issue that dates back to partition, with a lot of the intra-provincial conflicts arising from it being unresolved. The CCI, which according to the constitution, is formed to formulate and regulate policies in relation to matters in Part II of the Federal Legislative List to exercise supervision and control over related institutions, is precisely the right forum for these decade-long unresolved issues; it is thus puzzling why the government often evades the law and does not call upon meetings of the CCI more often.
The federal government must orient its goals toward reconciliation and compromise, rather than pushing provincial governments to their side through the will of the majority. The sitting government, with a majority, has always had a solid reason to ignore the request of other provinces to call the CCI’s meeting—but if this approach is kept up, not only will part of the democratic process enshrined in the constitution be compromised but tensions between the provinces will remain intact.