Army requested 1m acres of state land in Punjab for corporate farming.

LAHORE -- Earlier this year, the Pakistan army requested the Punjab government for one million acres of state land in the Cholistan area for corporate agricultural farming, court documents reveal.

In an official letter written to the Punjab Board of Revenue, on February 8, by the Director General Strategic Projects of the Pakistan Army, the military offers to develop 'waste barren lands' in Punjab through corporate agro farming.

The military cites high oil and food prices as a serious challenge to Pakistan's economy and its agricultural sector, arguing that the army has experience 'gained through development of waste barren lands, placed on military schedule in various parts of the country for the wards of Shuhada and War Wounded Persons.'

Providing a timeline for the project, the military proposes in the letter the 'immediate' release of 10,000 to 15,000 acres of irrigated land for a pilot project, followed by 100,000 acres of land by March 1.

It then recommends the 'identification and lease of one million acres [of state land] in the Cholistan Development Authority's area of responsibility' by April.

The letter was submitted by Punjab's advocate general office in the Lahore High Court (LHC) on Tuesday, where Justice Abid Hussain Chattha is hearing a case related to the matter.

It is important to mention that after the letter in February to the Board of Revenue, a month later, in March the Punjab government signed an agreement with the army to allot 45,267 acres of state land in the districts of Bhakkar, Khushab and Sahiwal for corporate agricultural farming on lease for 20 years.

Soon after the notification went public on...

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