LAHORE - Attorney General of Pakistan Salman Butt yesterday concluded his arguments before a division bench hearing petitions challenging Orange Line project.

The AGP argued that the project would benefit the public and stay orders on it were causing loss of billions of rupees to the government. He contended that the governments initiate such projects for larger public while courts cannot interfere into policy matters of the government.

He requested the court to vacate the stay and allow working again on the project. However, the bench recorded his arguments and adjourned further hearing for March 15 with directions to the petitioners’ counsels to come up with arguments.

In another case, the LHC expressed serious dismay over non-appearance of Lahore Development Authority’s Director General Ahad Cheema. The court also questioned government’s failure to appoint a permanent incumbent.

A woman had filed the petition and stated that the LDA was not allotting her a plot despite an order passed by the court. The LDA DG was required to appear before the court on Thursday but he did not appear. The law officer of the LDA, however, told the court that Cheema could not enter his appearance due to his engagement in a meeting of Nepra. Petitioner’s counsel pointed out that Punjab government had originally appointed Mr Cheema as chief executive of Quaid-i-Azam Solar Park and give additional charge of DG LDA too.

LHC dismisses petition

against MQM

The Lahore High Court yesterday dismissed an intra court appeal challenging the registration of Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s (MQM) as a political party.

A two-judge bench comprising Justice Shams Mahmood Mirza and Justice Atir Mahmood heard the case and held that the petitioners did not avail first remedy at Election Commission of Pakistan and Interior Ministry and approached the LHC. The bench maintained the earlier decision of a single bench. Ali Javed Dogar advocate of PTI’s legal wing had filed the petition. He submitted that the MQM was no more a lawful political party since it ceased to fulfill the mandatory part of section 3(4) of Political Parties Order 2002 for the last few years, as its office bearers have admitted before media that it had been receiving funds from Indian spy agency for terror activities in Pakistan.

“Whole world has witnessed that MQM is more a terrorist outfit than a political party,” he maintained in his petition.

The lawyer further argued that the interior ministry and the ECP failed to fulfill their obligations, and the MQM continued its illegal and anti state agenda. He asked the court to order the authorities to stop MQM’s illegal activities and ensure compliance of section 3 (4) and 15 of Political Parties Order 2002 by sending a reference against the party to Supreme Court for its dissolution as a political party.

In another petition of the same nature, the LHC yesterday sought more arguments on the maintainability of a writ petition seeking constitution of a judicial commission to probe into allegations leveled against MQM leadership by Mustafa Kamal.

Barrister Ali Gillani, in his petition, submitted that the allegations were of very much significance. He said the former mayor of Karachi had also confessed that he was involved in such unlawful activities along with their leader Altaf Hussain. He requested the court to constitute a judicial commission to probe into the allegations.

After hearing initial arguments, Justice Shahid Waheed directed the petitioner to come up on March 17 with more arguments.