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Is Pakistani Army Starting its Farming Venture?

© AP Photo / Channi AnandBorder Security Force or BSF soldiers
Border Security Force or BSF soldiers  - Sputnik India, 1920, 15.11.2023
Pakistani media confirmed speculation made by social media users that the Pakistan Army would be able to access hundreds of acres of government-owned land in Sindh province for agricultural purposes.
Sindh province is willing to lease up to 28,328 hectares (70,000 acres) of state property to the Pakistani Army for corporate farming, local media revealed on Wednesday, citing officials.

The provincial Board of Revenue and the Land Utilisation Department were instructed by the chief secretary of Sindh to compile information from all divisional commissioners in the province regarding state land availability that "lies available along with the coastal areas of Hyderabad Division and barren lands, which can be leased out and utilised for corporate agriculture farming," according to an internal document.

The Pakistani army "has a fleet of well-trained manpower which relies on the latest farming techniques," making it capable of farming, according to the document.

In addition, the caretaker government of Sindh has notified the federal government that 49,000 hectares (121,082 acres) of arable land are also available for farming in the "peri-urban areas of Karachi," according to minutes of a Special Investment Facilitation Council meeting held on October 4.

The official reported to the local media that “we began a land survey in early November, but after the survey is completed, we will be able to estimate the precise area of land that will be given [to the military] and the land will be leased out to the Pakistani Army for 15 to 20 years."

Likewise, the Pakistan Army also launched a corporate farming programme in the Punjab province, requesting up to one million acres of state land in three stages.

The Lahore High Court halted the transfer earlier this year, ruling that the military lacked the constitutional authority to engage in business endeavours. Later on, though, a different bench of the court gave the Punjabi caretaker government permission to give the land to the military for a 20-year tenure.
Security personnel clears the way for Pakistan's former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, center, after appearing in court in Islamabad, Pakistan, Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2023. - Sputnik India, 1920, 15.11.2023
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