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Federal Law Minister Farogh Naseem suggests to invoke Article 149 for Karachi

The tussle between the Centre and Sindh continues to heat up, as the Federal Law Minister Farogh Naseem says that it is time to invoke Article149, after implementing 149-A Federal Government will administrate Karachi directly.

While talking to ARY News, Federal minister said, “Finally the time has come to impose Article 149 (4) and 140 of the constitution in the Karachi for the immediate resolution of its issues”.

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“Article 149 (4) neither speaks for governor rule nor about any emergency. It is an independent article which tells that the federal government has executive authority and according to which it can give directives to any provincial government,” he further added.

The federal minister has stressed that the people of Karachi bear witness to the city’s situation over the last 11 years. “There is nothing there except garbage, shortage of water and flies”, he added.

“It is an independent article, which says that the federal government has an executive authority under which it can issue directives to any provincial government if there are issues pertaining to peace, tranquility and economic life,” he explained in his televised comments.

He further notified that the article 149 has been retained in the 18th Amendment of the Constitution of Pakistan. “If it was against provincial autonomy, then it should have been excluded from the Constitution.”
However, federal law minister has declined to share details as to who exactly is going to be responsible for governing Karachi in case of enforcement of Article 149.
“We will unfold it slowly and gradually”, he added.

Ruling out the notion that it threatens provincial autonomy, Farogh Nassem also added that the center expects resistance from the Pakistan Peoples Party to the imposition of the article.

It is to be noted that the PM Imran Khan had formed a committee a week ago to work out plans to address the issues being faced by the residents of the metropolis.

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The committee has been asked to suggest measures for the betterment of Karachi.

What is Article 149?
Here are the directions to provinces in certain cases:
149. Directions to Provinces in certain cases. (1) The executive authority of every Province shall be so exercised as not to impede or prejudice the exercise of the executive authority of the Federation, and the executive authority of the Federation shall extend to the giving of such directions to a Province as may appear to the Federal Government to be necessary for that purpose.

1[(2)] has been omitted now under 18th amendment.

It said: The executive authority of the Federation shall also extend to the giving of directions to a Province as to the carrying into execution therein of any Federal law which relates to a matter specified in the Concurrent Legislative List and authorizes the giving of such directions.”

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(3) The executive authority of the Federation shall also extend to the giving of directions to a Province as to the construction and maintenance of means of communication declared in the direction to be of national or strategic importance.

(4) The executive authority of the Federation shall also extend to the giving of directions to a Province as to the manner in which the executive authority thereof is to be exercised for the purpose of preventing any grave menace to the peace or tranquility or economic life of Pakistan or any part thereof.

According to the legal opinion shared by the experts at law, such a resolution will be definitely passed by the National Assembly because of the majority of the ruling coalition, it will be certainly rejected by the opposition-controlled Senate. Its passage from both the Houses is mandatory as the word “shall” has been used in the provision.

Saman Siddiqui

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