KARACHI - The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Thursday issued notices to the federal and provincial governments on a petition challenging the formation of the Pakistan Islands Development Authority Ordinance 2020.

A two-judge bench directed the official respondents to furnish their comments by next hearing on October 23. The petitioner stated before the court that the ordinance promulgated by President Dr. Arif Alvi on August 30 was illegal and unconstitutional. The federal government couldn’t undertake projects on the islands, Bundal and Buddo, along the Karachi coast, which fall within the territorial jurisdiction of the Sindh province, by establishing the authority, he said.

The court was pleaded to declare the ordinance unlawful and unconstitutional. On August 30, the president had promulgated the ordinance for establishing Pakistan Islands Development Authority for “development and management of islands in internal and territorial waters of Pakistan.”

However, the Sindh government on Tuesday withdrew its July 6, 2020 letter in which the Land Utilization Department had consented to the federal government to take custody of both islands.

“That due to this illegal, unconstitutional and malafide act of the Federal Government, the Sindh Cabinet has decided not to engage with the Federal Government for the purpose of developing the Island and consequently the letter dated 06.07.2020 of Government of Sindh, Land Utilization Department is treated as a nullity,” the department said in a letter withdrawing the previous one.