The Parliamentary Constitutional Reforms Committee managed to put together an 18th Amendment abolishing the extra-constitutional accretions made by the two military rulers of the past, but only after crossing two hurdles, those of appointments to the superior judiciary and the name of the NWFP. These issues were settled in the original 1973 constitution, to the extent that they were left unchanged by the two military rulers who amended the constitution afterwards, Ziaul Haq by his RCO or Revival of Constitution Order, given final shape in the 8th Amendment and Pervez Musharraf by the 17th. Though both were seen as carrying out amendments to perpetuate their own power, both amendments provided the president to dissolve the National Assembly, as well as appoint the service chiefs. Combined, such a nexus was created between the president and the military that it could get the government dismissed when it wished. This was how the path of future martial laws was to be stopped. When these powers were removed by the 14th Amendment, the next step was the imposition of martial law. The argument runs that if this power had not been removed, there would have been no need to impose martial law, and this power could have been used. Therefore, the abolition of this power has placed the country at the risk of martial law. Indeed, the last time it was abolished, there was a martial law imposed. It remains to be seen how this abolition is received in the military, where this power is not the only article of faith. There is also the National Security Council, where the military chiefs, primarily the COAS, would be able to excoriate the prime minister with the president in the chair. Not only did Zia and Musharraf attempted to impose such an NSC, but a COAS, General Jehangir Karamat, Mush-arrafs immediate predecessor, even resigned over the issue. Musharraf agreed that the NSC was not to form part of the 17th Amendment, but the delay in passing the necessary legislation is mentioned as one of the reasons why his first Prime Minister, Zafarullah Jamali, lost his job. The NSC is also something on which the politicians, even the tamed and frightened variety inhabiting the first parliaments of military dictators, have not endorsed this concept. Apart from Musharrafs NSC, there was a Council for Defence and National Security (CDNS), created by an amendment in the Rules of Business during the Meraj Khalid caretaker period. The succeeding PMs, Nawaz Sharif and Yousuf Raza Gilani respectively, did not summon either the CDNS or the NSC. The present regime has followed tradition in trying to keep the military on board in the subjects it cares about, such as foreign and security policy. As before, the PPP government has tried to tell the USA that it is an efficient guarantor of its interests in Afghanistan. Afghanistan is still a US concern, for that is where it has stationed troops, but the war on terror is being fought in the NWFP. Now that an agreement has been reached on the 18th Amendment, the name of the province is destined to pass into history. It is to be renamed Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa. When the NWFP was first created back in 1901, it was carved out of the Punjab as a chief commissionerate. The chief commissioner answered to the Viceroy in Calcutta (later in New Delhi) through the governor in Lahore. However, the NWFP was raised to a full province in 1931 as a result of a demand from the Round Table Conference, with a governor of its own. It was with this status that it entered Pakistan through a referendum, and then was merged into One Unit in 1958, which had one province created out of all provinces and princely states in West Pakistan. It became a separate province once again in 1970, when One Unit was broken up, with the princely states added. The 1973 Constitution retained the old name, even though it did not really mean anything. However, the retention was because all the other provinces had their names retained. However, while all the other provinces were named after either rivers (Punjab, or Five Rivers; Sindh, through which the mighty Indus flows down to the sea) or a people (Baluchistan, land of the Baluch). The name of NWFP did not just conceal historical reasons, but also covered up the fact that the province housed a large minority, of non-Pashtuns, in Hazara Division, who were linguistically and ethnically most aligned to Rawalpindi Division in the Punjab, or rather the Potohar. These areas include many people who are ethnically Pashtun, but linguistically Potohari, which in turn casts into doubt their ethnicity. The most famous son of Hazara has been Ayub Khan, a Hindko-speaker and a Tarin, the only one of Pakistans presidents whose fame was sufficient to get his grandson, Omer Ayub Khan, elected to the National Assembly. His son Gohar was not only repeatedly an MNA, but was speaker of the National Assembly and thus the mover of the only petition for restoration to succeed before the Supreme Court. It is also noticeable that the Hazara Division always votes against the ANP, which claims to represent the Pashtuns. The division also has never voted in a PPP member, perhaps because that party has also tried to contest the Pashtun areas. Almost by default, the area is not just non-Pushto speaking, but also so solidly PML that it twice elected Mian Nawaz to the National Assembly. Though Pushto is a very solid second language there, the division has both linguistic and political affiliations making it oppose the ANP, and mobilise the PML to prevent the renaming of the province. However, just as the PML would oppose this, the ANP made this a touchstone for its support of the entire constitutional package. This is also an example of coalition politics at work in a federation, because the ANP made the PPP support it, rather than the other way around, because it includes the PPP in the coalition it leads in Peshawar, while a junior partner in the central coalition. The appointments to the judiciary were previously made by a process of consultation, to which the Supreme Court tried to bring some order. The PML-N, as the party which adopted the judges cause to the extent that it pulled out of the government because they were not restored, and which threw its weight behind the lawyers movements final push, which saw the chief justice restored, was naturally going to take a special interest in these provisions. Its last minute compromise was not just because it wanted a deal to go through which would strip the president of his powers, but because it had also made the relevant calculations of how it would itself operate the provisions if it came to power. Now that the committee has done its work, as well as a total review of the constitution, Parliament has now to proceed to the passage of the 18th Amendment. The use of the committee mechanism is to make this a formality, and if all goes well, the dictatorial accretions will be a thing of the past. However, whether there are no further takeovers, only time will tell. As has happened in the past, documents have not been much of a barrier in the path of Napoleonic adventurers. However, the 18th Amendment represents another barrier to such adventurism. Email: maniazi@nation.com.pk