PESHAWAR: Another decision of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-led government in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa has been challenged in Peshawar High Court, as a former nazim has moved a petition claiming the bifurcation of Kohistan into two districts is illegal and requesting that the decision be withdrawn.
The petition was filed by Haji Amir Zada through his counsel Barrister Syed Masood Kausar, who is also the former governor of K-P. A division bench of Justice Malik Manzoor Hussain and Justice Ikramullah Khan heard the initial arguments and issued notices to the secretary revenue department and the chief secretary, while also seeking help from the advocate general and Attorney General of Pakistan.
The Kohistan district was created under the Land Revenue Act 1967, which states that there shall be as many divisions in the province with such limits and areas as the government may direct. The Act also adds that the government may vary the number of administrative subdivisions in the province.
However, the counsel of the petitioner said a proper process should be followed when creating a new district, as was done in the case of Torghar district. The bench was informed that part of Kohistan district used to fall under Swat, but was included in Kohistan for administrative purposes. However, the barrister maintained, a proper legal process was not followed while creating the new district of Lower Kohistan.
After hearing the arguments, the court issued notices to the provincial government, while help was sought from the advocate general and the AGP. The next date of hearing was fixed for September 9.
On January 6, the K-P government bifurcated Kohistan district, carving out one more administrative unit after which the total number of districts in the province went up to 26.
Notified as a district in 1976, prior to the incumbent provincial government’s decision to bifurcate it, Kohistan included 7,492 square kilometres. Upper Kohistan district composes of Dasu and Kundia tehsils.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 28th, 2014.