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ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court has summoned record pertaining to the presidential order for the establishment of the Frontier Works Organisation (FWO). A three-judge bench, headed by Justice Sardar Tariq Masood, heard an appeal against the Peshawar High Court (PHC) judgment. A large number of petitioners have challenged the PHC judgment through advocate Chaudhry Imran Hassan Ali.

However, the high court had dismissed their petitions on technical ground. During the proceeding, Imran argued that in the last hearing, the bench had directed the FWO to file the presidential order (PO) for setting up the organisation.

Ahsan Bhoon, representing the FWO, said the Order is 60 to 70 years old. Imran contended that the FWO was formed on the direction of former president General Yahya Khan.

Justice Tariq observed that fire incidents take place in many buildings for missing of record, adding till date no such incident happened in the President House. He remarked the FWO cannot say that due to fire, the record, pertaining to the PO for setting up FWO, is missing.

The judge inquired from Ahsan Bhoon whether the PO has any importance or not?

He said the Court has to examine whether the FWO could acquire land for setting up a cement factory.

In the last hearing, the counsel for the KPK government had informed that the cement factory was being set up for the construction of Diamer-Bhasha Dam. He rejected the news that the land for the cement factory was acquired by the FWO. He said the method of land acquisition had been adopted. It is the stance of the petitioners that more than 160 acres of their land in Haripur was acquired by the KP government on the request of the FWO for installation of a cement plant.

They submitted that the Constitution and the Federal Government Rules of Business, 1973, only empower the Ministry of Defence to acquire land only for defence purposes. The FWO being a formation of Pakistan army cannot acquire land directly through the agency of a provincial government. The installation and operation of a cement plant is beyond the purpose for which FWO was established.

They also submitted that multiple provisions of the Land Acquisition Act, 1984, have been violated by the respondents during the acquisition proceedings. The case was adjourned sine die.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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