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CJP invited chief justices to resolve issues related to CPEC

31 January, 2018

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ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar on Tuesday said he had invited the chief justices of all the high courts to resolve the issues related to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project. He said this while heading a three-member Supreme Court bench comprising Justice Umar Ata Bandial and Justice Ijazul Ahsan, which was hearing a suo motu case pertaining to deteriorated condition of Katas Raj Temple in Chakwal district.

During the hearing, when Makhdoom Ali Khan, senior counsel for one of the respondents in the case – Bestway Cement – told the court that one of the cement units of his client was situated at the path of CPEC, the chief justice said several disputes were surfacing in line with the CPEC and the court wanted to resolve them.

He said for resolution of all these issues, he had invited the chief justices of all the high courts. The court also imposed fine on the Punjab government for not submitting its report in the Katas Raj case, despite the court’s repeated orders.

The court had directed the Punjab government to submit a comprehensive report explaining the scale of water utilisation through the sub-soil water wells by the nearby cement factories in the area.

The court observed that the Katas Raj Temple and its water pond must be restored. It noted that since water level in the Katas Raj pond was decreasing due to huge consumption by the nearby cement factories, these factories should make other arrangements to meet their water requirement.

The chief justice made it clear that the court did not want to close down the cement factories, instead it wanted to resolve the issues.

The court allowed the cement factories to use the water of the pond for a certain time period, but make their alternative arrangements. The court held that after a certain time period, it would order closure of tube-wells that were being used to supply the water to the cement factories.

The court directed the cement factories to provide it a timeframe that how much time would be required to make alternative arrangements for their water requirements.

During the hearing, the chief justice noted that the tenure of Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) Chairman Siddiqul Farooq had ended, however, he was still in his office, adding that appointments should not be made on personal preferences and political affiliations. The court also issued a notice to Siddiqul Farooq to explain his position.

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