Published On: Sat, Jan 16th, 2021
Published in Category: Karachi

SHC seeks reply of Centre over islands ordinance

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KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) has issued notice to the federal government seeking its reply over Pakistan Islands Development Authority Ordinance 2020 on Friday.

Two member bench of the SHC headed by Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar and comprising Justice Amjad Ali Sahito heard the case.

At the outset of the hearing, the deputy attorney general of Pakistan informed the court that the ordinance has expired and it has no legal status now.

He sought time from the honourable court for submission of a written reply in the court. Later, the SHC adjourned the hearing of the case till January 21, sought response from the federal government.

The ordinance was challenged by the applicant Shahab Usto stating that federal territory in the sea starts after 12 nautical miles and Bundal and Buddo are the properties of the province as they fall under 12 nautical miles.

On the last hearing of the case, the AGP had said that the federal government respects the resolution passed by the Sindh Assembly and the reservations of the provincial government would be resolved.

AGP Khalid Javed Khan had further said that development at the islands would be done only after the consultation of PPP government.

On August 30, the president had promulgated the ordinance for establishing Pakistan Islands Development Authority for “development and management of islands in internal and territorial waters of Pakistan.”

However, the Sindh government withdrew its July 6, 2020 letter in which the Land Utilization Department had consented to the federal government to take custody of both islands.

“That due to this illegal, unconstitutional and malafide act of the Federal Government, the Sindh Cabinet has decided not to engage with the Federal Government for the purpose of developing the Island and consequently the letter dated 06.07.2020 of Government of Sindh, Land Utilization Department is treated as a nullity, ” the department said in a letter withdrawing the previous one.