Ordinance to protect Nizam-i-Adl, other regulations in PataArchive
PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has decided about the promulgation of an ordinance soon after the president of Pakistan gives assent to the Constitution (Twenty-Fifth Amendment) Bill, 2018, to protect the current regulations in the Provincially Administered Tribal Areas (Pata), including the Nizam-i-Adl Regulation, 2009.
An official told Dawn that the promulgation of the ordinance was necessary to prevent legal complications, which would emerge after the enactment of the bill awaiting the president’s mandatory nod after the recent passage by parliament and provincial assembly.
He said one of the major flaws in the bill was that it didn’t have any ‘saving clause’ for giving protection to important regulations imposed in Pata by the country’s president or provincial governor from time to time.
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The official said the proposed ordinance, Protection to Certain Laws Ordinance, 2018, would legally protect several regulations promulgated in Pata under Article 247 of the Constitution with the most important being the Nizam-e-Adl Regulation, 2009, and Action (in aid of civil power) Regulation, 2011.
He said as the provincial government ceased to exist by midnight of May 28, the government had been receiving assent of cabinet members by circulation.
The official said the approval of the cabinet was mandatory for promulgation of an ordinance.
He said as there was no ‘saving clause’ in the bill, the moment the president gave assent to it, the regulations applicable to Pata would stand repealed and the laws in vogue in the province would be applicable to the areas included in Pata.
An expert said there would be legal complications in case of non-promulgation of the required ordinance as there were hundreds of people kept in different internment centres of KP, which was given legal cover under the Action (in aid of civil power) Regulation 2011.
“If that regulation stands repealed, the status of these internees will be in limbo,” he said.
Under Article 247 of the Constitution, which has been omitted through the bill in question, the president was empowered to promulgate a regulation for Pata regarding a matter which was in the legislative competence of parliament.
Similarly, the governor with the approval of the president was empowered to promulgate a regulation regarding a matter which was in the legislative competence of the provincial assembly.
The governor had promulgated the Nizam-i-Adl Regulation, 2009, when the Malakand region, included in Pata, was infested with militancy. That regulation replaced the Shariah Nizam-i-Adl Regulation, 1999.
Similarly, the country’s president had introduced the Action (in aid of civil power) Regulation, 2011, for Pata and Fata to provide legal cover to a large number of internees imprisoned in internment centres for last many years.
An official source said through the bill, Article 247 of the Constitution had been removed but Article 246 stayed put and that it still carried the provisions related to Pata and Fata.
He said while the focus of the provincial government was on the merger of Fata with KP as previously there was no mention of Pata, on May 22, the federal government had also included Pata in the bill, which had increased the tasks for the provincial government.
Published in Dawn, May 29th, 2018