PESHAWAR, Feb 13: The appointment of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Engineer Shaukatullah was challenged before the Peshawar High Court on Wednesday on the ground that he was not a registered voter and resident of the province Two identical writ petitions were filed separately by freelance journalist Shahid Orakzai and senior lawyer Gohar Rehman Khattak.
Both the petitions were filed on the same ground with the request to the high court to declare the impugned appointment of Engineer Shaukatullah by the President of Pakistan as unconstitutional and against the law.
The petitioners questioned whether a person could be appointed governor of a province when he was neither its resident nor a registered voter there.
They stated that Engineer Shaukatullah was appointed governor of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, replacing Barrister Masood Kausar under Article 101 of the Constitution.
According to the petitioners, Article 101 (1) of the Constitution states that there shall be a governor for each province, who shall be appointed by the president on the advice of the prime minister.
They quoted Article 101 (2) of the Constitution which states: “A person shall not be appointed a governor unless he is qualified to be elected as a member of the National Assembly and is not less than thirty-five years of age and is a registered voter and resident of the province concerned.”
They pointed out that Shaukatullah belonged to Bajaur tribal agency and he was also elected an MNA from the said area on NA-43 constituency in the 2008 general elections.
They added that he was having domicile of the said agency. They said that his impugned appointment was in clear violation of the Constitution of Pakistan. The petitioners also requested the court that as an interim relief the court might restrain Engineer Shaukatullah from performing his function as governor of the province.
The respondents in the petitions are: federation of Pakistan through secretary, ministry of law and the secretary Election Commission of Pakistan.