CJP seeks reasons for Army’s business ventures

Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar raised on Tuesday questions over the involvement of the country’s army in establishing housing schemes.

The Chief Justice gave comments while hearing a case pertaining to the placement of billboards in Lahore.

He remarked, “What’s in it for the military to build housing schemes. Army should establish housing schemes for their employees and martyrs”.

He asked if the army of a country runs a business to earn money, adding, “Where the billions of rupees generated by the Defence Housing Authority (DHA) are spent”. The apex court also issued a notice to DHA Lahore.

The CJP vowed to form a comprehensive policy regarding the billboards that will be implemented across the country.

During the hearing, the chief justice said there were banners or pictures of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) hanging at every poll on the Mall Road and asked if they were installed by the Pakistan Horticulture Authority (PHA).

At this, additional director general PHA denied placing a single billboard.

The chief justice said an effigy of Chaudhry Sarwar, PTI’s governor-nominee, had been erected at the Mall Road, to which, PHA official said: “It is a Pena flex not the statue”.

Then, the top judge ordered Mayor Lahore Col. (r) Mubashir Javed to remove the picture of Sarwar.

The PHA ADG also said that they did not give approval for placing the banners and posters in Lahore, adding that cases were registered against employees of the PHA when they tried to remove them.

He added that the billboards in Lahore are held by Cantonment, DHA, NLC, and NHA.

At this, Cantonment’s counsel Latif Khosa said that amount generated through billboards shared a major part of the Cantt’s income.

He argued that the government issued no funds for the Cantonment, adding that the income generated through billboards spent for providing facilities to the residents.

When PHA lamented over non-issuance of funds for development of parks, the chief justice observed: “Will you open casinos if funds are not released?”

The court has adjourned hearing till the last week of September.

Daily Pakistan