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September 12, 2019

Centre should take control of Karachi: law minister

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September 12, 2019

Minister for Law and Justice Farogh Naseem. File photo

ISLAMABAD: Federal Law Minister Farogh Naseem on Wednesday said the Federation must take the administrative control of Karachi city for better administration.

Talking to Geo News on Wednesday night, Farogh Naseem clarified that the Federation has no intention to take over Karachi as earlier reported in the media. 

More: Centre did not consult Sindh on Karachi committee, says CM Murad

Earlier media reports hinted while quoting Farogh Naseem that the Centre was intending to invoke Article 149(4) in Karachi. “Neither does Article 149(4) speak of governor rule, nor of imposing an emergency,” Farogh Naseem was quoted as saying.

“It is an independent article, which says that the federal government has an executive authority under which it can issue directives to any provincial government, if there are issues pertaining to peace, tranquillity and economic life,” he explained in his comments. Article 149(4) states: “The executive authority of the Federation shall also extend to the giving of directions to a province as to the manner in which the executive authority thereof is to be exercised for the purpose of preventing any grave menace to the peace or tranquillity or economic life of Pakistan or any part thereof.”

Related: Federal govt’s committees won’t solve Karachi’s issues: mayor

The minister said people bear witness to Karachi’s situation over the last 11 years. “There is nothing there except garbage, shortage of water and flies,” he said. He noted that the article was retained in the 18th Amendment of the Constitution of Pakistan. “If it was against provincial autonomy, then it should have been excluded from the Constitution,” he argued.

The minister, however, declined to give details as to who would be responsible for governing the megapolis after the enforcement of the article. “We will unfold it slowly and gradually,” he said.

Farogh Naseem also denied media reports that Prime Minister Imran Khan was expected to announce imposition of Article 149 in Karachi during his visit to the city on Saturday, January 14.

Previously, Sindh Governor Imran Ismail had said that there were too many authorities in Karachi, due to which issues were not resolved. He had said that his party wanted a single authority in Karachi. However, Farogh Naseem clarified that the governor’s comments pertained to the unity of command and did not concern the imposition of Article 149.

The PPP leader Saeed Ghani in his reaction over the news said the Supreme Court of Pakistan has already settled the scope of Articles 148 and 149. “SCP has already settled the scope of article 148 & 149 through order PLD 1996 Karachi 267. Federal Govt can only direct on implementation of federal laws not on provincial laws,” he said in a Twitter message.

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