Its islands ordinance has expired
The Sindh High Court has sought a reply from the federal government on what it will be doing about Sindh’s islands now that its islands ordinance has expired.
The September 2, Pakistan Island Development Authority Ordinance 2020 expired on January 3, according to the assistant attorney general.
Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar heard the case on the control of Sindh’s islands on Friday.
The federal government hasn’t passed a new ordinance on islands yet, the assistant attorney general told the court.
The petitioner’s lawyer said if the ordinance has expired, the case being heard becomes ineffective. The petitioner reminded the court that the federal government has signed a pact with the Netherlands for a desalination plant on the islands.
Justice Mazhar said since the ordinance has expired, the federal government should brief the court on its position.
The court has summoned a report from the attorney general of Pakistan and others on January 21. It has also summoned a reply on the desalination plant.
The court is hearing multiple petitions filed against the federal government taking administrative control of Sindh’s islands. The petitions are also against an ordinance that created the Pakistan Islands Development Authority.
The ordinance was passed without the approval of the Senate and National Assembly as they were not in session as “the president of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is satisfied that circumstance exist which render it necessary to take immediate action.”
One of the petitions was filed by lawyer Jibran Nasir on behalf of environmentalists and environment activists Syed Yasir Husain, Ahmad Shabbar, and Syed Jamil Hassan Kazmi and argues that the mangroves along Sindh’s coastline.
The federal government’s jurisdiction begins after 12 tidal miles, argued Nasir. He said in his petition that the development work will affect the mangroves.
The Indus Delta in Sindh, which is the sixth-largest in the world, is home to 97% of mangroves in Pakistan, said the petition. The Bundal and Buddo islands are a part of the Indus Delta and spread over 12,000 hectares which is more than the size of Karachi’s Defence Housing Authority and hosts about 3,349 hectares of mangrove forests.