KARACHI: The Sindh government has conveyed its intent to mount a legal challenge against the ordinances recently promulgated by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-led federal government.
“The ordinances promulgated by President Dr Arif Alvi are against the spirit of the 18th Amendment. The federal government is interfering in matters that fall under the provinces’ domain,” Murtaza Wahab, the Sindh chief minister’s adviser on law and environment, said on Wednesday.
“The federal government has transgressed its authority and we will challenge its ordinances at the proper constitutional forum.”
President Alvi has recently promulgated eight ordinances, one of which was related to the dissolution of the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC).
Wahab said the decision regarding the PMDC had been taken without any consultation with the provinces, adding that such steps were in violation of established legal procedures.
The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) would be the second major opposition party to challenge the ordinances as the Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) has already moved the Islamabad High Court (IHC) over the matter.
The petition filed by PML-N MNA Mohsin Ranjha requests the IHC to declare that the president’s power to promulgate ordinances can be used to bring about such legislation only when the government needs to respond to an emergency situation such as war, famine, epidemic or rebellion which has put the life, liberty or property of the people of Pakistan at stake.
It further pleaded that such powers can be used in case of an emergency after the prorogation of the last session of Parliament, or when waiting for the commencement of the next session of either house of Parliament would cause irreparable loss of life, liberty or property to the people of Pakistan.
Similarly, senior politicians have also challenged the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Actions (in Aid of Civil Power) Ordinance 2019 in the Supreme Court, saying the law is unconstitutional and violates fundamental rights.
“By impugned ordinance all persons in an entire province of Pakistan are subject to a parallel and draconian legal system which authorises detention/internment without charge for an undefined duration. The law under challenge also authorises use of force and other coercive action by armed forces within the province,” reads the constitutional petition filed in October by seasoned politicians Farhatullah Babar, Afrasiab Khattak, Bushra Gohar, and Rubina Saigol.
“Individuals who are held in internment centers established under the impugned ordinance are being denied their liberty pursuant to the impugned ordinance and have no judicial remedy,” it states.