KARACHI              -              The decision of the federal authorities to appoint Sindh Assembly Deputy Speaker Rehana Leghari as acting governor in the province has created tussle between the federal and provincial authorities.

The President on Monday granted a 10-day leave to the incumbent Sindh Governor Imran Ismail, who is due to perform Hajj and return to the country on 15 August. The federal authorities instead of appointing Speaker Sindh Assembly Agha Siraj Durrani, who is in custody of NAB authorities under various charges of embezzlement and assets beyond means, as acting governor gave the charge to deputy speaker of the provincial assembly.

According to a notification issued by the cabinet division in Islamabad, President Arif Alvi granted 10-day ex-Pakistan leave to the governor Imran Ismail from August 6 to 15 for performing Hajj.

It further reads that during absence of the governor, the deputy speaker shall perform the functions of the governor in terms of article 104 of constitution.

The Pakistan People’s Party led provincial government has rejected the decision and barred the deputy speaker from taking charge of the acting governor Sindh. Thus, the post of the governor remains vacant in the province.     

Spokesperson for the Sindh government Barrister Murtaza Wahab said that to nominate Deputy Speaker of the provincial Assembly as acting Governor even in presence of the Speaker of the Assembly by the President was the violation of the constitution. The adviser clarified that the constitution of Pakistan was quite clear on the issue as its article 104 said that in the absence for the Governor Speaker of the provincial assembly would be the acting Governor.

He said that someone had misguided the President on the nomination of acting governor. Our constitution explicitly articulates that unless the court of law disqualified the speaker he could be nominated as acting governor, he added.  Barrister Murtaza Wahab said that since the deputy speaker belonged to legal profession that’s why she himself avoided the violation of the constitution.

The adviser said that it was not mandatory for the governor to stay in the Governor House similarly as the incumbent Prime Minister announced earlier that he would not reside in the PM House. Alike it was not required by law that Agha Siraj Durrani should stay at Governor House as acting governor, he said.

He said that the Sindh government as well as the deputy speaker herself had expressed their serious reservation over the decision. He said that when the speaker of Sindh Assembly was present in Karachi the President should have nominated him as the acting governor.

The adviser said that the President should withdraw his notification as Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani was the acting Governor. He said that Agha Siraj Durrani had yet not been convicted by any of the courts of law and he was defending himself over the allegations levelled against him.  Wahab said the everyone of us should follow the constitution in letter and spirit. In the absence of Governor the nomination of the Speaker as acting Governor was a constitutional requirement and not an issue of ego, he said.

The Adviser said that Sindh Chief Minister would defend himself against every baseless allegations levelled against him.

It was the prerogative of the chief executive of the province to form his cabinet, he said. He said that we were not talking tea during rain instead the elected members of the Sindh government were present on the road to look after the people. Barrister Murtaza Wahab said that when Prime Minister Imran khan took oath of the office he was also facing allegations.