The Supreme Court of Pakistan has questioned the use of military land for commercial projects and demanded a policy document signed by the chiefs of the three armed forces of the country.
Hearing a case about military lands at SC Karachi Registry on Friday, Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed said that the lands were allotted to the armed forces for defence purposes and using them for residential or commercial projects was prima facie illegal and against the law and the constitution.
The court had summoned the Attorney General and the Defence Secretary on Friday.
In an important development, the Defence Secretary informed the judges that the armed forces have decided to stop commercial activities on military and cantonments land.
The court asked how the armed forces planned to “undo what has already been done.”
The chief justice said be it Masroor base or Faisal Cantonment, commercial activities were in full swing everywhere on military lands. “Go to Askari IV, a large hoarding board has been put up there.”
He said there were billboards everywhere advertising the commercial activities.
The chief justice said that the policy to end commercial activities was a welcome step but why the leadership sitting in Islamabad could not control a major or colonel in Karachi “who becomes a king of the area and does whatever he wants.”
The Defence Secretary assured the court that steps would be taken to end the commercial activities and a comprehensive report would be submitted to the Supreme Court.
The court ordered the Defence Secretary to submit the policy report signed by the services chiefs.
The SC will resume the hearing of the case in Islamabad on Tuesday.