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PPP wants minister fired over remarks about Karachi affairs

PPP wants minister fired over remarks about Karachi affairs

ISLAMABAD: The Pak­istan Peoples Party (PPP) has called for removal of Law Minister Barrister Farogh Naseem from the federal cabinet over his recent “controversial acts” and statements, including the one in which he said the federal government could take over the administrative affairs of Karachi by enforcing Article 149 of the Constitution.

In a statement on Sunday, PPP senator from Sindh Sassui Palijo alleged that the law minister through his “thinking, policies, statements and actions” had been causing chaos in the country.

“Through his undemocratic decisions with respect to judiciary, lawyers and the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), the law minister has raised question marks on Pakistan’s judicial system,” she said.

Dr Naseem is the head of a high-powered committee recently set up by the prime minister to work out plans to address issues being faced by the residents of Karachi. The committee is tasked with suggesting short-, medium- and long-term measures for the betterment of the metropolis.

Subsequently, the panel in its meeting formed a 12-member Karachi Stra­tegic Committee with six members each from the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) — the two opposition parties in Sindh.

The law minister had last week stated that the strategic committee on Karachi which had been constituted by Prime Minister Imran Khan was going to recommend to the federal government to invoke Article 149 for the development of Karachi.

“After getting approval of the cabinet the provision will be exercised and in case of any resistance shown by the provincial government, we will approach the Supreme Court under Article 184(1) of the Constitution to seek a directive in this regard and if the province still shows reluctance we will file a contempt petition in the SC,” the law minister had reportedly stated.

Earlier, the minister had told news channels that right now it was his personal view that the Centre should take over Karachi’s affairs.

The law minister, who is an MQM senator, had said that Karachi’s situation demanded the federal government play its role in resolving people’s problems without imposing governor’s rule or emergency.

He said Article 149 (4) was an independent article, which was retained by PPP and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz when the 18th Amendment to the Constitution was passed.

Published in Dawn, September 16th, 2019

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