Federal govt mulls proposal to take Karachi’s administrate control

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KARACHI: Federal Law Minister Farogh Naseem hinted that the federal government was mulling over a proposal to takeover administrative control of Karachi by invoking Article 149 (4) of the Constitution.

“This is my personal opinion. And, I will table it before the Karachi Strategic Committee formed by Prime Minister Imran Khan,” the minister was quoted by Geo News as saying.

“If the committee agrees with my analysis, the proposal will be presented to the premier and the cabinet. Then, it is at their disposal to invoke the article in Karachi or not,” he added.

Prime Minister Imran Khan is scheduled to visit Karachi on September 14 to preside over a meeting of the Karachi Strategic Committee.

Naseem said he supports the promulgation of Article 149 (4) in Karachi, adding it is not the governor rule, instead it is meant to take the administrative control of Karachi without imposing emergency or the governor rule.

The idea of the Eighteenth Amendment, he explained, was meant to widen the provincial autonomy and offer increased empowerment of the third tier of the government, i.e. the local government, under Article 7 of the Constitution.

“But, the provincial government takes all the resources and money but nothing is spent on the masses,” he said, adding the issue is not specifically related to Karachi. In fact, it is the problem of nearly all the cities, towns and villages.

“If no money is spent on the people, it means the provincial government has rendered its third-tier dysfunctional,” he said.

So, under the prevalent circumstances, the Eighteenth Amendment allows the mechanism of Article 149 (4) to run the affairs without taking up any extreme steps, including the imposition of emergency.

“If the governor rule is imposed, I would object to it,” he said. The Karachi situation is very bad and the infrastructure is lying in tatters.”

 

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