Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Sindh’s two islands regarding Presidential Ordinance challenged in SHC

Sindh’s two islands regarding Presidential Ordinance challenged in SHC

KARACHI (92 News) - The Sindh High Court (SHC) issued notices to the provincial and federal governments on a petition against handing over administration of Sindh’s two islands regarding Presidential Ordinance to the federal government on Thursday.

The SHC issued notices to the federal and provincial governments on a petition challenging the formation of the Pakistan Islands Development Authority Ordinance 2020.

A two-judge bench directed the official respondents to furnish their comments by next hearing on October 23.

The petitioner has argued that the formation of the Pakistan Islands Development Authority is against the Constitution. Handing over the islands to the federal government is against Sindh’s basic rights, he said.

The Pakistan Islands Development Authority was created through a September 2, 2020 ordinance without the approval of the Senate or National Assembly as they were not in session and “the president of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is satisfied that circumstance exist which render it necessary to take immediate action.” 

The move was criticised and called illegal.

The authority was established for the development and management of the islands in the internal waters and territorial waters of Pakistan. It wants to develop the islands.

The PIDA advertised the post of its chairman on October 3, and said part of the chairman’s job will be to “initiate and maintain a continuous process of reclamation, master planning, urban planning, spatial planning for the specified areas,” according to the Ordinance. The “specified areas” are islands in the internal and territorial waters listed in the First Schedule.

Many of those islands belong to Sindh under Article 172 (2) of the Constitution.

Under Section 3 of the ordinance, however, ownership of Bundal and Buddo Islands is vested in the federal government and the authority shall “possess, control, manage and deal with the islands”.