Panel overseeing utilisation of funds in tribal districts challenged in PHC.

PESHAWAR -- Six members of the dissolved Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly on Thursday moved Peshawar High Court for declaring as unconstitutional the recent formation of a steering committee by the federal government for overseeing its development funds for the erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata).

The ex-MPAs have requested the court to declare the relevant notification issued on January 3 by the planning commission, ministry of planning, development and special initiative, against the spirit of Article 129 and the Constitution (Twenty-Fifth Amendment) Act, 2018, through which former tribal areas were merged into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The former MPAs including Syed Ghazi Ghazan Jamal, Shaifiq Afridi, Anwarzeb, Ajmal Khan, Said Iqbal Mian and Naseerullah Khan, all belonging to tribal districts, filed a joint petition to seek declaration of the court that the executive authority of the province vested in the provincial government and could not be exercised by the federal government in respect of tribal districts.

They stated that the impugned notification brought contempt and ridicule to the office of the KP governor being made a member of the steering committee and then to work under a deputy chairman of the planning commission.

Petitioners seek execution of schemes in ex-Fata through provincial govt

The petitioners also requested the court to direct that the share of Fata as per the decision taken by the federal cabinet on March 2, 2017, should be given and spent only in the merged districts through the provincial government.

The petitioners have also sought interim relief, requesting the court to suspend the impugned notification till final disposal of the petition. The petition has been filed through a panel of lawyers including Ali Gohar Durrani, Zarak Arif Shah and Babar Khan Durrani.

The respondents in the petition are federal government through secretary cabinet division, planning commission through its secretary, the steering committee through its secretary, secretary finance division, National Finance Commission and National Economic Council through respective secretaries, KP government through its chief secretary and KP finance secretary.

The impugned notification provides that 80 per cent...

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