Appointments of CM advisors: SHC gives final warning to Sindh govt for submitting reply

KARACHI:Sindh High Court (SHC) on Tuesday gave final warning to the Sindh government for submitting its reply in a petition against appointments of more number of advisers to the chief minister than allowed in the law.

A two-member bench of the SHC, headed by Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar, heard a petition filed by Sayed Mehmood Akhtar Naqvi against appointments of more number of advisers to the chief minister than allowed in the law. The court expressed its displeasure over Sindh government for not submitting its reply and ordered it to submit it until 17 November.

The court questioned the additional advocate general: what is the problem in submitting a reply? The court directed him to submit a reply in writing whatever he wanted to submit.

The additional advocate general Shahryar Mahar told the court that there are court orders regarding this. The petitioner replied that nine hearings have been conducted regarding the plea, so they should submit replies as per law.

The petitioner stated that special advisors and assistants to the Chief Minister have been participating in cabinet meetings which is the violation of official secret act. He said that SHC had declared those appointments against the constitution.

Petitioner Syed Mehmood Akhtar Naqvi submitted in the petition that as many as 21 advisers to the CM were given ministry portfolios despite the fact that they were not elected member of the parliament. He submitted that advisers to the CM could not be given ministry portfolio as per the law.

In his petition, he wrote down names of the CM’s advisers. They are Murtaza Wahab, Aijaz Hussain Jakhrani, Nisar Ahmed Khoro, Syed Aijaz Ali Shah Sherazi, Waqar Mehdi, Rashid Rabbani, AShfaq Memon, Qasim Naveed, Nawab Hussain Wassan, Dr Khatomal, Maula Bux Mohejo, Peer Noorulllah, Riaz Hussain Shah, Veer Ji Kohali, Naseema Ghulam Hussain, Bangle Mehar, Shahzad Memon and Hina Dastageer.

He said the CM’s advisers had been given different ministry portfolios and were also made special assistants. He submitted that respondents were not elected representatives of the people and therefore, they could only work as the CM’s advisers instead of having ministry portfolios.

The petitioner submitted that despite the ruling, Pakistan People Party had 99 MPAs, while the party had only given ministry portfolios to its 18 lawmakers, whereas 21 unelected advisers and four special assistants were running government departments and ministries which was against the law.

He also questioned the appointment of Murtaza Wahab as the adviser to CM on law, climate change and coastal development, and also as the Sindh’s government spokesman. He submitted that the appointment of Murtaza Wahab was made in violation of a SHC order. About PPP leader Nisar Khoro, he said Khoro was disqualified for “giving false information” in his nomination papers but he still had been given the portfolio of Works and Service, and Universities Board.

He said another advisor, Aijaz Jakhrani, who was given the portfolio of prisons, inter provincial coordination, had lost election in Jacobabad and was facing two NAB investigations. The petitioner sought inquiry into appointments of such persons who were disqualified and facing NAB investigation on corruption charges.

The court was requested to set aside the notification with regard to appointments of the advisers to CM and in meantime suspend “the impugned notifications” till decision of the petition.

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