Islamabad [Pakistan], November 27 (ANI): Pakistan's Supreme Court on Friday lambasted Imran Khan-led government over the commercial use of military land, saying such activities needed to be stopped, land retrieved and used for defence purposes.
The apex court summoned Defence Secretary, retired Lt Gen Mian Mohammad Hilal Hussain along with a report carrying details of decisions of all services chiefs on the matter, local media reported.
Headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Gulzar Ahmed, the three-member bench took up the matter pertaining to alleged conversion of cantonment land in violation of relevant laws for hearing, Dawn reported.
While replying to a query of the bench that also comprised Justice Ijazul Ahsan and Justice Qazi Mohammad Amin Ahmed, Defence Secretary Hussain said such land was allotted for the purpose of defence strategic objectives. He contended that there were policies, rules and regulations for cantonment and military land when the apex court confronted him how housing societies had been made on such land, a Pakistani newspaper reported.
It further reported that Justice Amin said such policies were under the command of this court while the CJP remarked that cinema halls, wedding halls and other commercial activities were also being carried out on cantonment land and there was no such provision in the Constitution.
The chief justice said such activities needed to be stopped, land retrieved and used for defence purposes. He then asked the secretary how he was going to roll these things back, Dawn reported.
Meanwhile, Justice Ashan asked retired Lt Gen Hussain that he would have to come up with a proper strategy and time frame to fix such issues.
Earlier on Wednesday, the apex court observed that the conversion of cantonment land into private land in Karachi seemed to be contrary to the very mandate of the Cantonment Act, 1924 and the Land Administration Control Rules, 1937 and also was in violation of various provisions of the Constitution and summoned the defence secretary and attorney general for Nov 26, Dawn reported.
"If any law or rule is made contrary to such mandate, the same will be ultra virus the act and the constitution and therefore, this aspect needs to be heard and decided by this court," the bench observed. (ANI)