ANI Photo | Pakistan: Lahore HC suspends order against land transfer to Army for corporate farming

The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Monday 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, Pakistan-based Geo News reported.
The judgement was pronounced by a two-member bench — headed by Justice Ali Baqar Najafi — after hearing the Punjab government’s petition seeking the annulment of a ruling by the LHC’s single-member bench.
The Punjab government said that the complainants — Lahore-based lawyers — were not affected parties and noted that it is not the court’s job to regulate agricultural policies.
Earlier in June, the LHC’s single-member bench — headed by Justice Abid Hussain Chattha — declared illegal leasing of land to the Pakistan Army for corporate farming, observing that the armed forces had no constitutional and legal mandate to indulge in corporate farming, Geo News reported.
Justice Chattha also said in a written judgement that the caretaker government of Punjab had no constitutional mandate to allot land for corporate farming.
The Punjab government had notified the allotment of over 45,267 acres of Punjab land to the army in three districts — Bhakkar, Khushab, and Sahiwal — for a corporate agriculture farming project, as per Geo News.
The allotment came after, the director general of strategic projects of the Pakistan Army wrote to the Board of Revenue in Punjab on February 8, requesting it to grant up to 1 million acres of state land in Punjab for “corporate agriculture farming”.
In the letter, the Pakistan Army cited rising oil and food prices as a serious challenge to Pakistan’s economy and its agriculture sector, arguing that it had the experience to develop “waste barren lands”, Geo News reported citing the letter.

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