KARACHI: Justice Gulzar Ahmed, while criticizing the construction carried out by Defence Housing Authority (DHA) along the coastal strip remarked: “…if they had their way they would build a city on the sea…DHA (…wondering how they can make inroads into India…) would encroach on the entire sea all the way to America and then plant their flags there!“
Two-member bench, consisting of him and Justice Sajjad Ali Shah, was hearing a case today here at the SC’s registry apropos illegal construction. Harboring on the subject of DHA Justice Gulzar Ahmed remarked that neither Federal nor Provincial the real government was run by DHA. He said that walls on Shahrah-e-Faisal were difficult to demolish because those were built on the wishes of a Major who had the idea of generating funds by means of renting walls’ surfaces for advertisements: “A Major sits and does whatever he wants to do!” Justice also held that behind those walls, big buildings were being constructed!
Justice Gulzar Ahmed said if DHA had their way they would turn roads into Marriage Halls: “There are Marriage Halls near Navy and Air Force ordnance depots; How Marriage Halls could be established near ordnance depots (meant for stockpiling active arms and ammunition)? There are Marriage Halls that are being operated from Mehran Base that was attacked by terrorists; What are they doing?” Justice Gulzar angrily pointing out that in Lahore DHA had constructed so many buildings that they have (almost) reached India, asked: “They have nothing else to do?”
Moreover, SC while ordering an end to all commercial activities on military lands in the Port City, wondered was running Cinemas and Wedding Halls job of the armed forces and CAA? In its written order the Apex Court has stated:”…cantonment lands meant for cantonment purposes are to be used only for cantonment purposes and not for any other use and their use shall be restored…A report in this regard shall be made available to this court on the next date; in particular cantonment areas Rashid Minhas Road, Karsaz and Shahrah-e-Faisal are initially pointed out and a report in this regard be made available to this court.”
SC ordered the opening of Askari Park for public and razing of Marriage Hall built on it. The management of the park built on purani sabzi mandi (Karachi Univesity Road) is to be handed over to the civil authorities. SC ordered to transform the land of Sewerage Treatment Plant-II into a public park.
The bench, that was discontent due to the absence of KMC and Cantt. Board officials, directed the relevant secretaries to participate in the cabinet meetings in order to figure out in two weeks how to restore the Metropolis to its original form. Meanwhile, Chief Minister of the Province Murad Ali Shah has been ordered to call a cabinet meeting to facilitate such a brainstorming. Sindh Chief Secretary Syed Mumtaz Ali Shah, Commissioner Karachi Iftikhar Shalwani and Advocate General for Sindh Salman Talibuddin have attended today’s proceedings.
Earlier SC, rejecting the report presented by Sindh government and KDA, maintained: “If we passed an order on the basis of this report, your entire government will be sent reeling.” Warning that the city would be restored to its original master plan the court ordered the report should be submitted along with suggestions and architectural plans.
ORDER: The Managing Director KW&SB has submitted a report stating that the order of this Court dated 22.01.2019 has been complied with to the extent that Marriage Hall and KW&SB Officers Club constructed on KW&SB Land at Shahrah-e-Faisal have been demolished. The Managing Director KW&SB states that work for making a public park on this land will be started immediately and KW&SB is going to achieve within a period of two months’ time. Thus this report is taken on the record.
As regards all other aspects of the city, learned Advocate General Sindh has made a statement that he is going to consult with all relevant authorities of the government of Sindh in coordination with KDA, KMC and Cantonment Boards of Karachi so also other agencies like KPT, CAA, PIA, Evacuee Trust, for bringing the city of Karachi to its glory which will be best suited for the people and residents and in this regard will consult with all the top city planners as to how the existing buildings which may have to be removed from the city, will be removed, the people who are dislocated and displaced by such plans are rehabilitated.
It seems that lands of Malir River so also the land of Korangi Industrial Area have also been occupied for commercial purposes and constructions to them have already been made. Similarly, there are also many other placed all over the Karachi which are meant to remain open under the City plan or are meant for parks, playgrounds or other amenities have been occupied and even allowed to be used for commercial purposes like marriage halls, markets, shopping centers, apartments, petrol pumps, and CNG stations. There are State’s lands belonging to various agencies including Government of Sindh and Government of Pakistan which have been encroached and occupied illegally and on them too before the eyes of Government huge constructions have been made.
Similarly, there are Railway’s lands on which too, huge encroachments and constructions have been made even the Karachi Circular Railway lands have been occupied and Karachi Circular Railways is no more in operation. Learned Advocate General Sindh states that he is going to find a solution in this regard and emergent meeting of all Secretaries will take place. He also states that there will be Cabinet Meeting of Chief Minister and all this will be done within two weeks and comprehensive report will be submitted to this Court along with an original unamended master plan of the city of Karachi.
Director General KDA states that Aziz Bhatti Park has been cleared from all encroachments in that Customs Club, Nursery and Softina Marriage Hall have been removed and the whole land of park has been made available and it is being developed as a model park of the city of Karachi for recreation and enjoyment of the citizens of Karachi. Further report be also called from the Cantonment Boards of the city of Karachi and all the Chairman of the Cantonment Boards shall also be present on next date.
Similarly, Director Lands, Cantonment Board Karachi along with Cantonment Executive Officers will also be in attendance on the next date. They shall submit reports to the court about the removal of all sort of commercial activities from the cantonment lands more particularly Global Marquees on Emergency Military Medical Supplies Land for Sindh and Balochistan. Adjacent Marquees, Marriage Halls, Grand Contention Hall shall also be removed and all cantonment lands meant for cantonment purposes are to be used only for cantonment purposes and not for any other use and their use shall be restored.
A report in this regard shall be made available to this court on the next date; in particular cantonment areas Rashid Minhas Road, Karsaz and Shahrah-e-Faisal are initially pointed out and a report in this regard be made available to this court. On the land of old Sabzi Mandi, a marriage hall has been constructed by military people, it shall be removed and Askari park shall be restored and it is ensured that proper park on the whole land of old Sabzi Mandi is available for the public for their recreation and enjoyment. Let Notice be issued to the Chairman KPT, Chairman PIA, Chairman Karachi Electric, State Life Insurance Corporation, Commissioner KMC, ASF, DG CAA for next date. Adjourned to a date to be fixed after two weeks. Let notice be also issued to Attorney General for Pakistan under Order XXVII CPC.
Rawalpindi CPO visits Ramazan Sasta Bazaar
RAWALPINDI: City Police Officer (CPO) Capt (R) Muhammad Faisal Rana visited Ramazan Sasta Bazaar set up in Chungi no 22 to review the security arrangements, informed police spokesman here Tuesday.
CPO termed the security arrangements satisfactory, he directed to further enhance the security of Bazaars, mosques, Imambargahs and worship places to protect the people during the sacred month.
He directed the police officers to curb crime and to provide foolproof security to the masses during Ramazan.
He made it clear that it was the prime duty of the police to protect the lives and properties of the people.
He said that strict action would be taken against those who found negligent in performing their duties.
SC dismisses NAB appeal against acquittal of accused
ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed the National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) plea against acquittal of a bank cashier in a corruption case.
The trial court had awarded some 30 months imprisonment to a local bank cashier Sabir in 2008 over allegations of corruption and a failed attempt of robbery in the bank in 2004. The accused remained in jail for 34 months, four months extra in jail when he was acquitted by the Peshawar High Court (PHC) for lack of evidence. Later, NAB challenged his acquittal in the SC.
A three-member SC bench by Chief Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa and comprising Justice Sardar Tariq Masood and Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel, which heard the case, maintained the PHC verdict dismissing NAB’s appeal.
During the course of proceedings, the chief justice remarked that according to the high court verdict there was no solid evidence against the accused. He observed that bank branches prepared cash balance sheets on a daily basis.
Sensitizing expats about welfare initiatives
ISLAMABAD: Senate Standing Committee on Overseas Pakistanis Tuesday formed a sub-committee to devise a strategy for sensitizing the Pakistani Diaspora about the modus operandi being opted for their welfare initiatives.
The sub-committee will not only review the measures being taken for the expatriates by the departments working under the auspices of Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development but also give recommendations to make them familiar about their welfare initiatives.
The body was met here with Senator Shaheen Khalid Butt, who convened the meeting in place of chairman committee Hilal-ur-Rehman, in the chair to evaluate the performance of Overseas Pakistanis Foundation (OPF).
Describing the Pakistani Diaspora as the country’s precious asset Shaheen Khalid said the protection of their rights and better provision of facilities to them was the responsibility of the state.
He said the efficiency of OPF could be improved by informing this community about their rights and facilities offering by their motherland.
OPF Managing Director (MD) Dr. Amir Sheikh apprised the committee that the foundation was taking numerous steps for the expatriates including financial assistance in the welfare sector, facilitation counter at national airports, repatriation of expired overseas Pakistanis, the establishment of fast-track courts for swift grievance redressal and others.
He said the OPF was embracing modern technologies and using social media to ensure connectivity between the government and the Pakistani Diaspora, admitting that a communication gap still exists between them.
The Secretary Overseas division briefed about the punishment status of Abdur Rehman, a Pakistani national, who was facing a death sentence on the order of Malaysian Supreme Court. He said the government could either apply for Royal apology or file a review petition in Malaysia for his acquittal, adding it was the choice of convict’s family to go for any available option. Abdur Rehman’s father was also invited to the committee to present his son’s case before the committee.