Appointment of governor triggers controversy

PESHAWAR, Feb 11: The appointment of Shaukatullah Khan as governor of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has triggered a controversy because he is not ‘a registered voter and resident of the province’ as required under the Constitution. He took oath of office on Sunday. governorMr Khan who hails from Bajaur Agency was elected to the National Assembly from NA-43 in the 2008 elections. Prior to the enactment of the Constitution (Eighteenth Amendment) Act in 2010, people from any other province could be appointed governor of a province. But the 18th Amendment made it mandatory for the governor to be “a registered voter and resident of the province concerned”. Article 101 (2) says: “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.” When contacted, Presidency’s spokesman Senator Farhatullah Babar said there was no illegality in the appointment of the governor. Official sources said the provincial government headed by the Awami National Party had not been taken into confidence before the appointment of the governor and it appeared that the decision was made in haste. Constitutional expert Qazi Mohammad Anwer said there could be no relaxation and the Constitution had to be followed in letter and spirit. He said Mr Khan could claim that he was also a resident of Khyber Pakhtunkhawa because he owned a house there, but he would have to prove that he was a registered voter of the province and not of Bajaur Agency.–Dawn]]>

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