Law Minister Farogh Naseem hinted on Wednesday at the federation’s intent to invoke Article 149 (4) in Karachi.
The minister said the time had come to impose Article 149 (4) in Karachi, given the deteriorating situation of the mega polis.
“Neither does Article 149 (4) speak of governor rule, nor of imposing an emergency,” Naseem told.
“It is an independent article, which says that the federal government has an executive authority under which it can issue directives to any provincial government, if there are issues pertaining to peace, tranquility and economic life,” he explained in his televised comments.
Article 149 (4) states: The executive authority of the Federation shall also extend to the giving of directions to a Province as to the manner in which the executive authority thereof is to be exercised for the purpose of preventing any grave menace to the peace or tranquility or economic life of Pakistan or any part thereof.
The minister said the people bear witness to Karachi’s situation over the last 11 years. “There is nothing there except garbage, shortage of water and flies.”
He said the center expects resistance from the Pakistan People’s Party to the imposition of the article, however, ruled out the notion that it threatens provincial autonomy.
“They are our brothers and sisters. They are very good people and they will definitely complain about every adequate thing,” Naseem remarked sarcastically.
“It is their right and it should not be snatched away from them,” he said.
He noted that the article was retained in the 18th Amendment of the Constitution of Pakistan. “If it was against provincial autonomy, then it should have been excluded from the Constitution.”
The minister, however, declined to give details as to who would be responsible for governing the mega polis after the enforcement of the article.
“We will unfold it slowly and gradually,” he said.
However, Naseem clarified that the governor’s comments pertained to the unity of command and did not concern the imposition of Article 149.