Balochistan governor’s appointment questioned in IHC

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The appointment of the new Governor in Balochistan, elder brother of PkMAP leader Mehmud Khan Achakzai, was questioned before the Islamabad High Court on Friday as a case of “naked nepotism”.

The court was asked to suspend the notification of his appointment and, simultaneously, restrain the federation from making similar appointment in any of the other three provinces.

A writ petition pointed out that neither the prime minister nor the president bothered to confirm whether the new governor was qualified to be elected as a member of the National Assembly, a basic qualification for that office.

Petitioner Shahid Orakzai said there was nothing on the record of the Election Commission whether the governor had ever been a candidate for any elective office.

Besides nothing was known about his status within the political party led by his younger brother and whether he had as such aspired for the office of the governor.

The Political Parties Order, 2002, by which General Pervez Musharraf introduced new discipline for political parties, insists on transparent democratic nominations for various public offices including that of the governor.

The petitioner said the governor was not a nominee of the prime minister but a political party that was “a likely partner in a coalition”.

The office of the governor was “literally doled out as a political reward to the party that helped the prime minister cobble a coalition” in Quetta. The petitioner cautioned that any person who had common stakes with a political party could not perform the functions of the governor, particularly those connected with the Governor’s Rule under Article 234.

 

The Governor was the custodian of the federal laws in the province and was chiefly responsible under Article 148 that subjected the exercise of executive authority of every province to federal laws.

A finger was pointed at the age of Muhammad Khan Achakzai, a retired bureaucrat, and the court was asked whether any person could be inducted in the service of Pakistan when he was 80.

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