Sindh chief minister took the decision while chairing a meeting at the CM House here.
The meeting was attended by Forest Minister Gianchand Israni, Chief Secretary Siddiq Memon and other concerned officers.
The chief minister said that Pakistan Army had applied for allotment of 35,521 acres of forest land in Garhi Yasin, district Shikarpur, in 2001, however, the process was delayed due to the files moving from one office to another.
“Since the request has been made for the rehabilitation of martyrs’ families and war-wounded military personnel, it must be honoured. Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif had personally asked for the allotment of the land,” the chief minister said.
Forest Minister Gianchand Israni told the chief minister that the land in question was located in the area of Golo Daro of Garhi Yasin. “Its 5,000 acres were under illegal occupation of some influential people, which was vacated by the Rangers recently,” he said.
The minister further said out of 25,000 acres of forest land, 5,000 acres belong to private owners. Presently, 9,000 acres of land is available for which his department has no objection if it is allotted to the martyrs’ families.
Chief Secretary Siddiq Memon said the army’s request for land is for the families of 500 martyrs of whom 200 belonged to Sindh. “Since the request is genuine, it should be entertained,” he said.
Board of Revenue Senior Member Shoaib Siddiqui said that under the policy forest land can be allotted only for agricultural purposes. The Pakistan Army has already made a request to use it for this purpose, so the government is authorised to allot the land.
Forrest Secretary Sajjad Abbasi said that under the policy the lease holder of the forest land is bound to cultivate forests on 20 percent of the total holding and 80 percent for agriculture purposes.
The chief minister, in principle, approved the allotment of the land to Pakistan Army and directed the chief secretary to move a summary for the purpose.