PHC directs to cancel mining leases hazardous for
archeological, historical sites

Humayun Khan

PESHAWAR: The Chief Justice Peshawar High Court (PHC) Justice Qaiser Rashid remarked that court summoning officers to aware regarding proceeding regarding national assets and of public interest to uphold the grievances on competent forum during meetings, on Wednesday.

The divisional of PHC comprising of Chief Justice Qaiser Rashid and Justice Ishtiaq Ibrahim hearing writ petitions regarding destruction of river, archeological sites and deforestation across Khyber Pakhtuankhwa while Chief Secretary Dr. Shahzad Bangash, Secretary Culture& Sport Muhammad, Additional Secretary Muhammad Shoaib, Director Archeology Dr. Adus Samad, Mining’s department lawyer Barrister Asad-ul-Mulk and Additional Director Mining Mustafa appeared before court.
Additional Advocate General Syed Sikandar Shah and Qaiser Shah appread as provincial government representative before court in the petitions.

During hearing Chief Justice Qaiser Rashid remarked that court didn’t ordering officer to stand before court but aware them regarding proceedings because Green bench is also hearing writ regarding deforestation and assets of Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation while added that immediate actions shall be taken in the matter.

Chief Secretary informed that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had obtained 17 assets of PTDC while remaining two shall be obtain after snow season and added that the assets shall be auctions through transparent manner because efficiency increases after transparent and fair means.

The chief secretary added that court’s order strengthening their hands and added that a high level meeting was held on court’s directions for legislation regarding protection of rivers and mining leases.

Moreover, Chief Justice remarked that mining’s department had created chaos in the institute and added that no one take interest while remarked that court had scrapped mining’s lease because the department didn’t leave archeological and historical sites. Chief Justice Qaiser Rashid directed AAG to create separate files for the cases and bring them Chief Secretary for further necessary action and adjourned further hearing in the case.

Moreover, the report on mining at archeological and historical sites submitted before court stated that mining activities had destroyed archeological sites at Rani Ghat and Khushal Baba graveyard.

The chief justice remarked that the court did not damage business of anyone but would not allow mining activities to destroy archeological and historical sites in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The chief Justice directed to cancelled all mining leases which is causing damages to archeological and historical sites while adjourned further hearing and declared that an authority should establish for protection rivers.

PHC can’t allow commercial activities on agriculture land: CJ remarked: The Chief Justice Peshawar High Court (PHC) Justice Qaiser Rashid remarked that court shall never allowed establishment of Small Industrial Development Board (SIDB) units on agriculture land because Khyber Pakhtunkhwa already facing shortage of agriculture land while added that if government has decided SIDB then it should be built on barren land in larger public interest, on Wednesday.

The two-member bench of PHC comprising of Chief Justice Qaiser Rashid and Ishtiaq Ibrahim hearing writ petition of two residents of Swabi namely Iftitahullah and Zahir Ullah against establishment of SIB units on agriculture land in front of Swabi University.

The counsel for petitioner Rahman Ullah Shah Advocate informed PHC that Deputy Commissioner has imposed section 4 of Pakistan Penal Code on one thousand Kannal agriculture while declared it barren land while government had utilized Rs,24 billion on construction of Pahnor canal to irrigate the barren land.

The counsel argued that provincial government had issued notification that agriculture land only be utilized for agriculture purposes while other usage should be ban but Deputy Commissioner had declared agriculture land as barren on nepotism to satisfy on man in the district.

Additional Advocate General Syed Sikandar Shah and SIDB’s lawyer Wasim-u-Din Khattak appeared before court and informed that the project is establishing on barren land, however Chief Justice remarked that why not constitute a commission conduct survey for declaring the land as agriculture or barren?

The divisional bench has adjourned further hearing till 22 March due to unavailability of comments of one respondent and directed to ensure implementation of status-quo.