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KARACHI: Joint opposition in Sindh requested Supreme Court of Pakistan to take up constitutional petitions against Sindh Local government Act 2013 filed separately by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and MQM-P.

Provincial law makers of PTI and MQM-P led by leader of the opposition in Sindh Assembly Haleem Adil Sheikh marched in a rally from the Assembly building to the Supreme Court Karachi registry on Monday and hold a peaceful demonstration to derive the attention of the Apex Court towards serious violation of fundamental human rights of people and contravention to constitutional provisions.

PTI Parliamentary leader in Sindh Assembly Bilal Abdul Gaffar, MQM-P Parliamentary leader Kunwar Naveed Jamil, and other members of Provincial Assembly were holding banners and ply cards with slogans against SLGA 2013 inscribed over.

Haleem Adil Sheikh, speaking at the occasion, termed SLGA 2013 and subsequent amendments in the act as violation of constitution of Pakistan and said that the act had deprived local governments from it statuary rights and authority which were guaranteed under articles 7, 8, 32 and 140-A of the constitution.

Haleem Adil said that PTI, a few years ago, filled a constitutional petition in the Apex Court challenging SLGA 2013 and Chairman Imran Khan and secretary general Asad Umer were applicant in the petition. However the petition was so far pending in the Supreme Court like a similar petition of MQM-P.

He appealed the Chief Justice of Pakistan to fix the petitions for hearing on emergency basis and decide the cases so that Local Government system in Sindh could get its constitutional powers and functions and be able to serve the masses.

“We as representative of people of Sindh have gathered here in front of SCP Karachi registry in peaceful manner without disrupting court proceedings and creating obstacles to traffic flow just to raise voice against extra-constitutional steps of PPP and to request the CJP to fix the relevant petitions for hearing,” Haleem said.

It was movement for restoration of constitution and fundamental rights of people of Sindh, Haleem said adding that PPP Sindh government has practically imposed civilian martial law in the province and made Sindh Assembly hostage.

He alleged that PPP owing to its majority in the provincial assembly was passing unconstitutional laws and suppressing basic human rights of people.

PPP in Sindh developed an anti-judiciary narrative and their ministers, advisors and legislators were making statements in public and openly criticizing orders and decisions of higher courts, Haleem noted.

Kunwar Naveed Jameel of MQM-P said that his party, in 2017, had filled a constitutional petition against SLGA 2013 in Supreme Court and also requested the Apex Court for interpretation of article 140-A of the constitution as that article had direct relevance to life of masses.

The masses in the entire province were suffering due to suppressive legislation and local government were deprived of their basic functions and authority, he maintained and appealed the Apex Court to bring their petition under hearing.

Bilal Abdul Gaffar speaking at the occasion said that article 140-A provided for administrative, financial and political empowerment of third tier of government and PTI intended to empower the LG bodies according to the constitutional provisions so that people could be able to get all the basic facilities and resolution of their issues at local level.

People of Sindh were deprived of basic civic amenities including clean drinking water, sanitation, basic health and primary education due to limited role and constrained authority of LG bodies, Bilal said and suggested that issues of people of Sindh could not be resolved till devolution of powers as well as resources to grass root level.

National Finance Commission (NFC) ensure distribution of resources among the federating units while Provincial Finance Commission (PFC) was a constitutional mechanism for equitable and just transfer of funds to local governments but Sindh government was reluctant of convening PFC, he said adding that Sindh Assembly unanimously passed a resolution in this regard about two and a half years ago but that was still awaiting implementation.

Bilal Gaffar appealed the CJP to play his constitutional role for implementation on article 140-A and PFC so that rights of people could be ensured and masses could be provided with basic facilities.

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