Islamabad - Capital Development Authority (CDA) has formally handed over all the relevant record of environment-related issues to the high-powered commission constituted by the Islamabad High Court on Wednesday to assess the environmental degeneration in the territorial limits of the civic body.

The high-powered commission which was constituted to investigate environment related matters of the federal capital has formally started its work and got all the relevant record from CDA. The five-member commission headed by Pervaiz Hassan, a senior advocate of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, Wednesday held its first meeting where the CDA officers produced desired record to the commission.

The Cabinet Division notified constitution of this commission on April 27. The commission’s mandate is to review not only the CDA Ordinance 1960 but other environmental laws and acts with a view to stop further destruction and degradation of the federal capital’s environment.

The extraordinary powers are mandated to the commission following directions of the Islamabad High Court.

Justice Athar Minallah of the IHC in his order dated February 20, 2015 dictated the terms and conditions of the commission, which appeared without any change in the notification of the commission made by the Cabinet Division on April 27.

The IHC has given that order on a writ petition filed by Ms Shiraza Shakeel under Article 199 of the Constitution of Pakistan in 2011.

The commission will carry out a review of the rules and regulations made or issued under the CDA Ordinance 1960 and the Pakistan Environment Protection Act, 1997. It will also make recommendations, if necessary, on amendment of any law, rule or regulation or in policy or enforcement [of law]. It will also suggest how to ensure individual and institutional accountability, proposals regarding appropriate governance and management systems, collection of data of illegal projects in prohibited zones, identify policy gaps and practice omissions after assessing the state of enforcement of environmental laws.

The commission will submit its findings with the court within 60 days after its formation, according to notification.

Other members of the commission are Raja Hasan Abbas, Secretary Cabinet Division, Saima Ameen Khawaja, advocate High Court, Dr Ghulam Akbar, Senior director Programs World Wide Fund for Nature-Pakistan (WWF), and a representative of International Union of Conservation of Nature Pakistan (ICUN).

The commission has the power to co-opt any person or expert any stage and to suggest any other terms of reference of the commission. The Cabinet division is bound to render secretarial assistance to the commission and commission may if necessary approach the Islamabad High Court at any stage to seek appropriate orders for facilitation of its work.

The commission is empowered to seek assistance from any of the government department or organization.