An open con­fronta­tion.

The Miracle - - Pakistan - By: Iftekhar Ra­hat , Karachi

Uni­ver­sally, the Fed­eral law and agency is con­sid­ered to be the supreme and pro­vin­cial or state leg­is­la­tion is sub­ject to ap­proval of the Fed­eral in­sti­tu­tion. It has been ob­served, re­cently and even in the past, that Sindh Gov­ern­ment, was by­pass­ing Fed­eral or­ders, not giv­ing heed to their in­struc­tions, at times also over­ruled the ju­di­ciary de­ci­sion, like re­newal of Rangers pres­ence in Sindh to main­tain law and or­der and very re­cently try­ing to re­move IG Sindh, Mr. A.D. Khawaja. No doubt 18th Amend­ments, pro­vide max­i­mum au­ton­omy to the prov­inces, they should avail the ben­e­fits, but should avoid tak­ing un­due ad­van­tage or tak­ing it for granted, have to be within cer­tain frame­work/pa­ram­e­ter.

Sindh Assem­bly, passed a bill to re­peal NAB Or­di­nance, 1999 amid protest from the op­po­si­tion law­mak­ers. Pass­ing of the bill means that NAB has lost its right to take ac­tions against any in­sti­tu­tion which comes un­der Sindh gov­ern­ment or any of its of­fi­cers. In­ter­est­ingly, the bill was tabled just a few days af­ter NAB an­nounced it would ex­pand the scope of its in­ves­ti­ga­tion against al­leged cor­rup­tion and ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties in dif­fer­ent de­part­ments of Sindh, par­tic­u­larly in Karachi. Op­po­si­tion par­ties, in­clud­ing the Mut­tahida Qaumi Move­ment (MQM)–Pak­istan, Pak­istan Mus­lim League–Func­tional (PMLF) and Pak­istan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), had jointly filed a pe­ti­tion in SHC chal­leng­ing the con­tro­ver­sial Na­tional Ac­count­abil­ity Or­di­nance (NAO) 1999 Re­peal Bill, 2017 (now Act) re­cently en­acted by the Pak­istan Peo­ple’s Party (PPP)-led pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment. It ap­pears that the Sindh gov­ern­ment and cen­tre are on a col­li­sion course once again as Gov­er­nor Sindh Mo­ham­mad Zubair has re­fused to sign the Na­tional Ac­count­abil­ity Or­di­nance 1999 Re­peal Bill 2017 cur­rently

passed by the gov­ern­ment. Terming the leg­is­la­tion un­con­sti­tu­tional and in con­tra­dic­tion with the fed­eral law, gov­er­nor Sindh stated that the bill re­lates to sub­jects that fall in the con­cur­rent list, mean­ing that both the prov­ince and the fed­er­a­tion can leg­is­late on them. How­ever since a fed­eral law on the mat­ter al­ready ex­ists, which the said bill wants to re­peal, the fed­eral law shall pre­vail. Muham­mad Zubair has sent the bill back to the Sindh Assem­bly to re­con­sider and dis­card since it is “re­pug­nant to the pro­vi­sions” of the Na­tional Ac­count­abil­ity Or­di­nance, 1999 and the Con­sti­tu­tion. In the opin­ion of a le­gal ex­pert, un­der Ar­ti­cle 143 of the Con­sti­tu­tion, a pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment can­not re­peal a law passed by the Na­tional Assem­bly, that un­der Ar­ti­cle 147 of the Con­sti­tu­tion, the fed­eral gov­ern­ment can in­ter­fere if the Sindh gov­ern­ment passes a law against NAB. Even­tu­ally, the Sindh High Court (SHC) or­dered the Na­tional Ac­count­abil­ity Bureau (NAB) to con­tinue its in­quiries against pro­vin­cial assem­bly mem­bers and bu­reau­crats. Ac­cord­ing to me­dia sources, NAB is presently prob­ing into cor­rup­tion charges against over 60 bu­reau­crats and politi­cians in­clud­ing Law Min­is­ter Zia-ul-Has­san Lan­jar, MPA Faqir Dad Khoso, Sharmila Fa­rooqi, Shar­jeel Me­mon, for­mer chief sec­re­tary Sid­diq Me­mon, Ai­jaz Chaudhry, for­mer mem­ber Board of Rev­enue Shazar Shamoon, Sec­re­tary Badar Jameel, Ali Ahmed Lond, Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor Wa­ter Board Hashim Raza Zaidi, for­mer ed­u­ca­tion min­is­ter Pir Mazharul Haq, MNA Mir Mu­nawar Talpur, MPA Ali Mar­dan Shah, for­mer ad­min­is­tra­tor Karachi Rauf Akhter and for­mer chair­man In­ter Board An­war Zai. As per my un­der­stand­ing, Sindh Gov­ern­ment is try­ing to chal­lenge the writ of the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment, with a clear in­ten­tion of pro­tect­ing their cor­rupt of­fi­cials in the prov­ince per­sis­tently. More­over, this could also set a prece­dent for other prov­inces too. Hence, it is sug­gested that some kind of a check and bal­ance should ex­ist, to pre­vent from go­ing against the supreme au­thor­ity that is Fed­eral law and agency.

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