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SC seeks policy for ending commercial land allocated for defence installations

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KARACHI: The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Friday directed secretary defence to lay before it a plan about the undoing of commercial use of land which was allotted for defence installations.

Secretary Defence Mian Muhammad Hilal appeared before a bench headed by Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed and comprising Justice Ajazul Ahsan and Justice Qazi Muhammad Amin Ahmed in a case pertaining to cantonment boards at the SC’s Karachi Registry.

At the very outset, chief justice inquired from the secretary what was happening with the land allotted for defence installations. The secretary to the dismay of the bench submitted that the land was being used for defence and strategic use.

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The chief justice observed that if Askari Housing societies were built on such land what room be left for defence and strategy.

“Does the strategic use include marriage halls,” asked the chief justice.

“Multistorey building have been erected in air force bases, the court had ordered for removing of an advertisement from a wall in a cantonment board and behind that wall buildings were constructed,” observed the chief justice.

When the secretary submitted that the cantonment boards had framed certain rules and policies, Justice Qazi Muhammad Amin observed: “Your rules and policies are subservient to the command of this court.”

The secretary submitted that the chiefs of all the armed forces had given in writing that no such activities would take place any further.

The bench observed that it was hearing a case for undoing of such past activities.

Bench directed the secretary to have a policy paper prepared as to how such commercial buildings be removed, what would be the modus operandi and what would be its time-frame and have the paper signed by three armed forces’ chiefs.

The bench adjourned further hearing in the matter till November 30 and directed the secretary to seek instruction from Attorney General by then and be present in the court on next hearing in Islamabad.


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