‘When the cat is away, the mice will play’


With the devolution of the major ministries and divisions to the provinces under the 18th Constitutional Amendment, the federal government still exercises forcible control over the youth hostels in the Sindh province.
Interestingly, the centre was reluctant to smoothly handover the assets of the federal ministries and division devolved under the 18th Amendment following which the provincial authorities were facing several serious problems in dealing with their routine affairs. Besides, the Pakistan Youth Hostels Association had now been claiming that these hostels were their own property.
Sources told Pakistan Today that the Ministry of Youth Affairs was abolished as a result of the devolution process under the 18thAmendment and its assets which were located in the province of Sindh were supposed to be transferred to the Youth Affairs Department of the Government of Sindh. There are at least three youth hostels in the province each at district Larkana, Jamshoro and Karachi according to the details of a letter exclusively available with the Pakistan Today.
As the devolution process was arbitrarily delayed, the Pakistan Youth Hostels Association (PYHA) was claiming that these assets belonged to their association, however, the Ministry of Youth Affairs had turned down the claim saying that the assets belonged to the federal government and were now the property of the Sindh government, sources added.
Moreover, in this regard, the Youth Affairs Department had forwarded a letter No SO (G)/YAD/2012/1561 to the Services, General Administration and Coordination Department stating the factual position of the youth hostels.
“The department has written letters to the Inter-Provincial Coordination Division (IPCD) for transferring ownership and control of these hostels. The PYHA has been claiming ownership of these hostels and is managing its affairs. They have however, failed to produce any title documents as three projects were reportedly constructed by the Federal Government. The PHYA’s claim on these assets is not substantiated”, it added.
“The defunct Ministry of Youth Affairs stated in the implementation committee meetings held during the devolution process that they did not have any clear record as to how these were given to/taken over by the PYHA. The department’s contention is very clear and it strongly feels that these hostels have become the property of the provincial government”, the letter pointed out. The letter further said “On our recent communication in this regard, the Ministry of IPCD has forwarded it to the secretary of the professional and technical training division of the Government of Pakistan, Islamabad vide letter No F. No 4-1/2011-PDMA-1/YA 25.7..2012 for further notification”. The sources said that the law officials had been approached to get the matter settled down with the consultation of the Ministry of Inter-Provincial Coordination.