PML-N supported Islamabad’s Mayor moves apex court for ‘powers’ PM’s Special Assistant on CDA hints at removal of Mayor

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Zubair Qureshi

Irritated by the Capital Development Authority’s (CDA) frequent ‘interference’ in his domain, Mayor of the Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI) Sheikh Ansar Aziz on Monday submitted an appeal in the Supreme Court seeking the court’s intervention as CDA has not handed over powers “MCI was entitled to under the Islamabad Local Government Act, 2015.”
The petition, filed by Advocate Ahmed Nawaz on Ansar Aziz’ behalf, says the MCI is still unable to make appointments, collect property taxes or manage and control estate in the capital, even though the corporation has been granted powers under the aforementioned act.
The petition says that no development funds have been allocated to the MCI as a result, the municipal body is “handicapped” and cannot take initiatives on various uplift programmes and other the municipal issues like cleanliness, removal of waste etc, provision and maintenance of water filtration plants etc.
The mayor has also accused the CDA of “interfering” in the posting and transfer of MCI employees as well.
“The posting and transfer of employees is, on paper, controlled by the MCI, however, practically, it is the CDA that interferes in the said matters with the aid and assistance of the CBA Union,” the petition reads.
It further says that while the CDA has transferred its liabilities to MCI, it has not yet handed over the assets to the MCI.
“All the assets that have been transferred to the MCI are in fact not out of the goodwill on the part of the CDA to comply with the law; rather they are a liability and the assets which actually should be transferred to the MCI have been held by the CDA for nefarious designs, lacking any legal basis or authority.”
The petitioner urged the court to direct the Interior Ministry to divide and hand over the authority and powers the MCI was entitled to under the law.
The Federal Government be directed to allocate a budget to the MCI, and employees transferred to MCI be subjected to control of MCI in matters of discipline, transfer and posting for smooth running of the corporation, the petition said.
Sheikh Ansar Aziz is Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supported Mayor of the federal capital and was elected as the first Mayor of the city in February 2016. He had bagged 49 votes against PTI’s Khurram Nawaz who secured 26. Since his election, Mayor Aziz has been facing criticism for not representing Islamabad. However, despite criticism he continued to work for the community and is still engaged in a number of uplift projects.
His latest petition in Supreme Court shows clear clash of interests between the CDA and the MCI and the PTI government is obviously supporting the CDA.
Meanwhile, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Capital Development Authority (CDA) Ali Nawaz Awan has recently shown his intention to de-seat Mayor Aziz for failing to resolve ‘critical issues’ of the city.