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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

LHC lifts suspension on land transfer to Army for corporate farming

The Punjab caretaker government had earlier allocated over 45,000 acres of land to the Pakistan Army for a “Corporate Agriculture Farming” project. Later, the LHC had stopped the caretaker government from proceeding with its plan.

In a major development, the Lahore High Court suspended an order of the same court that prohibited the transfer of land to the Pakistan Army for corporate farming on a 20-year lease.

According to the details, a two-member bench of the LHC, led by Justice Ali Baqar Najafi, took up the Punjab government’s plea seeking to set aside the court’s order.

The Punjab government maintained that the complainants — Lahore-based lawyers — were not affected parties and noted that it is not the court’s job to regulate agricultural policies.

The plea contended that the court’s earlier decision to stay the transfer of land was in violation of the law. After reviewing the petition’s contents, the court decided to suspend its previous ruling on the matter.

Read more: Pak Army gets over 45000 acres of land for corporate agri farming

In March, the Punjab caretaker government allocated over 45,000 acres of land to the Pakistan Army for a “Corporate Agriculture Farming” project. The 45,267 acres of land are three districts — Bhakkar, Khushab, and Sahiwal — of Punjab.

At least 40 per cent of the revenue generated from the cultivation was to go to the Punjab government, 20pc to be spent on modern research and development in the agriculture sector, while the remaining was to be used for the succeeding crops and expansion of the project.

The report of the Pak Army receiving the land had sparked criticism on social media, however, military sources clarified to the media that the army was “not taking over the ownership of the land as it will remain the property” of the Punjab government, however, the army will provide a coherent administrative structure.

Later, the LHC had stopped the caretaker government from proceeding with its plan. The verdict was issued by Judge Abid Hussain Chattha on a petition filed by Ahmad Rafay Alam on behalf of Public Interest Law Association of Pakistan.

In the detailed verdict, Judge Chattha had ruled that the caretaker government “lacks constitutional and legal mandate to take any decision regarding the CAF initiative and policy in any manner whatsoever, in terms of Section 230 of the Elections Act 2017.”

Read more: LHC stops leasing of over 45,000 acres of land to Pak Army