Sindh CM rejects Centre’s ‘high-powered’ body to transform Karachi

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KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that the announcement of a ‘high-powered committee on Karachi transformation’ by the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf-led federal government was beyond its constitutional mandate and amounted to encroaching on provincial authority.
He said that Article 97 of the Constitution clearly stated that the authority of the federal government “does not extend in any province in respect of a matter for which the provincial assembly has power to make laws”.
The chief minister pointed this out to Sindh Governor Imran Ismail in response to his Nov 19 letter through which he informed Mr Shah about the constitution of the ‘high-powered’ committee for transformation of Karachi by the federal cabinet.
Federal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry had said that the committee would be headed by the Sindh governor to undertake development projects in the city.
In the letter sent to the governor, the CM said: “I would like to state that the Sindh government believes in the supremacy of the Constitution and rule of law, and is committed to fulfilling its obligations to the people of this great province, who have reposed their trust in the Pakistan Peoples Party.
“I am confident that as the governor you will also remain committed to fulfilling your constitutional role as provided for in the Constitution. In this regard, I draw your kind attention to Article 105 of the Constitution which provides that the Governor in performance of his functions shall act on the advice of the cabinet or the chief minister, and such advice shall also not be called into question by anyone.
“Under the existing Constitutional framework, the executive authority of the federal government is confined to matters in respect of which parliament has power to make laws. In this regard, reliance is placed upon Article 97 of the Constitution proviso of which states that the authority of federal government does not extend in any province in respect of a matter for which the provincial Assembly has power to make laws.
“Having perused the letter, I am of the view that the terms of reference deal with provincial subjects, for which the Sindh government has exclusive powers. Needless to say that the notification of any such committee by the federal government is beyond its constitutional mandate and is tantamount to encroachment of provincial authority. I will also be writing to the prime minister on this.
“I remain confident that you will remain committed to upholding the Constitution and supremacy of rule of law and will, in your capacity as governor, thwart any and all attempts to subvert the Constitution of Pakistan,” the CM concluded.