Karachi: The Federal Government, on Saturday, unveiled a plan to revamp Karachi’s coastal line under the aegis of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) with $3.5 billion “direct Chinese investment”.
This plan has been labelled as a “game-changer” as it has the propensity to ascend Karachi to the top port cities of the world.
The Karachi Coastal Comprehensive Development Zone (KCCDZ) — spread over 640 hectares or 1,581 acres on the western backwaters marshland of the Karachi Port Trust (KPT) leading to reinvigorate oldest city slums Machhar Colony relocating its more than half a million population.
Ministry of Maritime Affairs is directly involved in this event and KCCDZ anticipates modernizing Karachi’s infrastructure.
Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan tweeted, “Inclusion of Karachi Comprehensive Coastal Development Zone in CPEC is game changer. Will cleanup our marine habitat for fishermen, develop 20k low income housing units & present opportunities for investors. Will put Khi at par with developed port cities. Well done @MaritimeGovPK.”
Inclusion of Karachi Comprehensive Coastal Development Zone in CPEC is game changer. Will cleanup our marine habitat for fishermen, develop 20k low income housing units & present opportunities for investors. Will put Khi at par with developed port cities— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) September 26, 2021
Well done @MaritimeGovPK
CJP Gulzar for returning military land not under defence use to govt
The army is there for the country's defence and not for doing business, he remarked.
The law didn't allow land meant for defence purposes to be used for commercial gains and that such land should be returned to the government after its strategic use, Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed on Tuesday said on Tuesday.
A three-judge Supreme Court bench headed by the chief justice and comprising Justice Qazi Mohammad Amin Ahmed and Justice Ijazul Ahsan resumed the hearing on the issue of military lands being used for commercial purposes.
During the hearing, the chief justice again snubbed Defence Secretary retired Lt Gen Mian Mohammad Hilal Hussain over commercial establishments being built on military land.
"The law's intention is not that defence land is used for any other purpose," Justice Gulzar reiterated. "If the land is not being used for defence then it will go back to the government."
"This is government land," the top judge said, noting that cinemas, petrol pumps, housing societies, shopping malls and marriage halls were being constructed on land meant for defence.
"General sahib, these are not defence purposes," he told the defence secretary, asking the attorney general to explain how the defence ministry would "limit the land's use to defence".
The court said it would interpret the law concerning the land of cantonment boards in light of the Constitution, with Justice Amin remaking: "This is also very important for the institution's own reputation."
The CJP then turned to the attorney general, saying "They must be made to understand the law, who will do that?"
He said a retired major had given the land of Global Marquees, a wedding venue near Gora Qabristan, on lease to a private party, and asked whether he had the authority to do so.
"The army did not take any action against the retired major," the CJP said, noting that millions of rupees were being earned through Global Marquees on a daily basis.
The CJP ordered authorities to demolish a wall built next to Kala Pul as well as the Grand Convention Hall "today".
The CJP expressed dissatisfaction over a report submitted by the defence secretary regarding the case, saying the report "claims the illegally built buildings have been demolished, but they are still there".
The defence secretary responded that he would visit the sites in person and take pictures to compile a new report.
"This situation is a cause of embarrassment for the army and us both," CJP Ahmed remarked, following which the attorney general offered to withdraw the report submitted today.
The court directed him to submit a detailed report within four weeks, identifying the purposes of each piece of cantonment land.
"Under the law, strategic land will only be used for defence purposes," the CJP told the defence secretary.
The secretary informed the court that the scope of the term "strategic objectives" was "wide", saying commercial activities also fell into the category of "strategic defence".
"Whenever the army goes to the borders, these activities are carried out for the purpose of welfare and to keep the morale of the army high," Hussain explained.
At this, the CJP said: "Secretary sahib everything is fine, but where is the cantonment there? All we can see there are houses."
Justice Ahmed pointed out that schools and marriage halls had also been built on Faisal Base land.
"It is being said that Masroor and Korangi airbases are being shut and [perhaps] commercial activities will be started there," the CJP added.
He noted that cantonment land had to be returned to the government after defence objectives were met.
"The army should not compromise on its bigger objectives for petty business," Justice Qazi Amin remarked, adding that the military should be mindful of the sanctity of its institution.
CJP Ahmed pointed out that shopping malls had also been built on defence land in Lahore and Quetta, saying "it is not clear how the Ministry of Defence will sustain these activities."
The defence secretary informed the court that a joint committee of all three armed forces had been formed to check violations of the law.
The CJP further said that "allotting houses to senior army officers does not fall under defence purposes."
"How can the army carry out commercial activities on state land?" he questioned, emphasising that state land should not be "exploited".
Justice Ahmed said the issue was not limited to Karachi, but such violations were common across the country.
Justice Amin said it was incomprehensible why the army needed to indulge itself in business, while the CJP noted that "the army has constructed a tall building on Gizri Road overnight."
He asked that if constructing cinemas, marriage halls and houses were "defence activities" then what was actual defence.
The CJP further said the land sold by some army officers for a few hundreds of thousands had been used to build houses that were now worth tens of millions.
"All the land of cantonments must be restored to its original condition," the CJ said, adding the SC would also review all of the army rules and laws in light of the Constitution.
"The army is there for the country's defence, not for doing business," the CJP remarked.
Later the bench adjourned the hearing for four weeks.
Babar Azam to lead Karachi Kings in upcoming PSL 7
PSL Season 7 is likely to be played from late January 2022 through February, in Karachi and Lahore.
The Karachi Kings Tuesday announced that Babar Azam will lead Karachi Kings in Pakistan Super Legaue 7.
According to a statement issued in this regard, Azam, while reacting to his selection as the skipper, said: "This is such an honour for me that the whole team, including Imad Bhai, have entrusted me with the captaincy of our beloved Karachi Kings team. This means the world to me."
"I will work as hard as possible to take the team to even greater heights than what we’ve already achieved so far. Karachi and the Kings is my home and family away from home and my promise is that I will give it my all to make sure we keep on growing toward bigger and better things," Azam said.
On the other hand, Imad Wasim, a member of Karachi Kings since the first season and captain since 2018, who captained the team to become PSL 5 Champions, also beamed with pride while announcing Azam's captaincy.
“Babar is a younger brother, a great friend, and a teammate and seeing him grow into this role has been a great privilege as a captain as well as a fan of the game," Wasim said. "It is truly a sign of where this franchise is headed that we have all unanimously accepted it will be under his leadership that the future of the Kings lies."
Franchise owner Salman Iqbal said that Babar has been a part of the franchise for over six years and has been at the heart and soul of the team since day 1.
"He not only represents everything the team stands for — conviction in beliefs and hard work, selfless dedication to success, and always striving to make the team the best on and off the field, but is a beautiful human being and leader as well."
Team President, Wasim Akram and CEO, Tariq Wasi, were both present to add their joy and excitement at the announcement of giving the national skipper and long-time king the title of captain-- the King of Kings.
For PSL Season 7, further announcements on the team and the League will be forthcoming in the upcoming days.
Britain directs Facebook owner Meta to sell GIF maker Giphy
'Meta is reviewing the decision and considering all options'
London: Britain’s competition regulator said on Tuesday it has directed Facebook owner Meta Platforms to sell animated images platform Giphy after finding that the deal could harm social media users and UK advertisers.
The Competition and Markers Authority (CMA) said the decision was in line with provisional findings that Facebook’s acquisition of Giphy would reduce competition between social media platforms and in the display advertising market.
“The tie-up between Facebook and Giphy has already removed a potential challenger in the display advertising market …By requiring Facebook to sell Giphy, we are protecting millions of social media users and promoting competition and innovation in digital advertising,” said Stuart McIntosh, chair of the independent investigation for the CMA.
Facebook, now rebranded Meta Platforms as the parent company of the eponymous social media network, said it disagreed with the decision.
“We are reviewing the decision and considering all options, including appeal,” a spokesperson for Meta said.
The CMA in October fined the company about $70 million for breaching an order that was imposed during its investigation into the deal, having hinted in August that it may need Facebook to sell Giphy.
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