The Sindh High Court on Tuesday issued notices to the provincial forest and revenue authorities on a petition against the allotment of agricultural land to the families of army soldiers martyred in the war against terrorism.
A division bench, headed by Justice Aqeel Ahmed Abbasi, directed the Sindh chief secretary, forests secretary, law secretary, finance secretary and the Board of Revenue secretary to file their comments through the provincial law officer by August 6.
A civil rights campaigner, Rana Faizul Hasan had approached the court, pleading to order the authorities to suspend the Sindh chief minister’s orders to allot forest land to the martyred soldiers’ families and to direct the authorities to allot alternative, agricultural land to the martyrs’ families.
He informed the two-judge bench that CM Qaim Ali Shah had, on June 20, approved a summary to allot 9,600 acres in Shikarpur district to the families.
Hasan recalled that the high court had, while hearing another petition, held that the land earmarked for forests cannot be utilised for any other purpose. The court had also ordered the provincial revenue authorities to cancel the leases of all forest lands.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 1st, 2015.