CJP as­sails Sindh govt over dis­in­ter­est

The Miracle - - Front Page - Source: dawn.com

Chief Jus­tice of Pak­istan Mian Saqib Nisar on Wed­nes­day ex­pressed dis­plea­sure at the Sindh gov­ern­ment’s dis­in­ter­est in re­cov­er­ing hun­dreds of thou­sands of acres of il­le­gally al­lot­ted and grabbed land in a case per­tain­ing to de­for­esta­tion in Karachi. The chief jus­tice, while head­ing a three-mem­ber bench in Islamabad to­day, asked if any mea­sures were taken by the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment re­gard­ing its for­est land. “Seventy thou­sand acre land has been leased il­le­gally,” Sindh’s ad­di­tional ad­vo­cate gen­eral told the top judge, adding that de­mar­ca­tion of for­est land was un­der­way. When Jus­tice Ijazul Ah­san en­quired how Bahria Town got hold of for­est land, the pe­ti­tioner, Qazi Athar, said that the prop­erty de­vel­oper was given 11,000 acres of for­est land in Karachi and an­other 4,000 acres in Nawabshah. The chief jus­tice ex­pressed dis­ap­point­ment at the Sindh gov­ern­ment’s in­ac­tion to re­cover its land, say­ing: “Forests are very im­por­tant for the en­vi­ron­ment. If [they] do not want to work, they should leave this coun­try. Such peo­ple are not ca­pa­ble of run­ning the gov­ern­ment. “I have never seen a gov­ern­ment that is ad­mit­ting that its land has been il­le­gally oc­cu­pied but is still not tak­ing any ac­tion.” The pe­ti­tioner al­leged that PPP co-chair­per­son Asif Ali Zar­dari had con­verted for­est de­part­ment’s 2.8 mil­lion acres into rev­enue land — a move he said was later de­clared null and void by the Sindh High Court. Fur­ther­more, the pe­ti­tioner claimed that the then Sindh chief min­is­ter Qaim Ali Shah did not get a satel­lite sur­vey of the land con­ducted de­spite the ex­is­tence of court or­ders. The land, the pe­ti­tioner al­leged, was later trans­ferred to Bahria Town, Omni Group and oth­ers in com­plete vi­o­la­tion of the court or­ders. At this, the chief jus­tice or­dered Bahria Town CEO Ma­lik Riaz to ap­pear be­fore the court in the next hear­ing. “Ma­lik Riaz is il­le­gally oc­cu­py­ing 18,000 acres of for­est land. He is very fond of talk­ing on the ros­trum, so now he should come.” Jus­tice Nisar said that he would not grant Ma­lik’s coun­sel his re­quest for ad­journ­ment, sum­mon­ing him to the Karachi reg­istry on Jan­uary 9, when the case will next be heard. The court also or­dered the par­ties con­cerned to fur­nish their re­ports in the court by Jan­uary 7.

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