Sindh ready to fight Centre over islands issue

By: News Desk      Published: 05:35 PM, 7 Oct, 2020
Sindh ready to fight Centre over islands issue

Amid the rising political temperature, the Sindh government has decided to resist the Centre’s plan on the islands issue with full force, saying they would fight the case according to the Constitution if the presidential ordinance was not withdrawn, reported 24NewsHD TV channel on Wednesday.

The latest controversy erupted as the federal government without any consultations suddenly opted to establish Pakistan Islands Development Authority by promulgating an ordinance with the stated aim of developing modern cities on Bundal and Buddo (also known as Bhundaar and Dingi) islands

But the move has generated a strong reaction from the provincial government which now in a two-page letter addressed to the Centre said the islands in question were part of Sindh under Article 172 of the Constitution.

According to the letter, the formation of Pakistan Islands Development Authority is unconstitutional. The issue of these islands fall within the domain of province, not the Centre.

In case, the ordinance is not withdrawn/ cancelled, the Sindh government will defend the ownership these island under Article 239, the letter warned.    

However, it was mentioned in the letter that the Sindh government isn’t against development but the process should be carried out with the province’s approval and by making it part of the process.

It is worth recalling that PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto, soon after the promulgation of this presidential ordinance, had equated the move as the illegal annexation of India-occupied Jammu and Kashmir by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. 

He had vowed that his party would oppose the federal government’s move in Sindh Assembly as well as in the Parliament.

Similarly, PPP leader Raza Rabbani, in his reaction, said, “The federal government seeks to annex these lands/islands which are properties of the provinces, to exploit them for financial gain by allowing crony capitalists to undertake housing and such other projects including tourism, which has been devolved to the provinces under the 18th Amendment.”