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Pakistan Army Initiates Agriculture Farming on 41,000 Acres in South Waziristan

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Army set to start agriculture farming on 41,000 acres of land in S Waziristan

Initially army would farm on 1,000 acres of land and then expand to 41,000 acres gradually

PESHAWAR: The Pakistan Army is set to start agriculture farming on 41,000 acres of land in South Waziristan’s Zarmalam area, reported The News on Friday.

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As a start initially, the army would farm on 1,000 acres of land and then expand to 41,000 in a bid to enhance agricultural productivity of the region and promote food self-sufficiency.

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Peshawar Corps Commander Lieutenant General Sardar Hasan Azhar Hayat told The News that the army was determined to increase agricultural farming in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Lt Gen Hayat said the army has prepared a farming plan on 41,000 acres of land that had been barren for years. The officer was of the view that there is a vast opportunity for investment in minerals, hydropower, agriculture, and tourism in KP that can help boost the province’s resources.

The three-star officer said the army has worked together with the civil government to bring investment in minerals, agriculture, hydropower, and tourism to the province, which is yielding positive results.

  • Initially, army would farm on 1,000 acres of land.
  • It will then expand to 41,000 acres gradually.
  • Army determined to increase agricultural farming: Lt Gen Hayat.

Employment opportunities can be created by providing more facilities for investors, he added.

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Lt Gen Hayat believes in reaching out to different communities to bridge the gap between the masses and the armed forces. He is meeting students, teachers, scholars and other sections of society, especially the people of merged districts.

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A KP government, official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, noted that the armed forces and the provincial government had “extremely cordial” relations.

“The provincial government with the help of armed forces has cracked down on illegal mobile sims, explosives, extortion, hundi, illegal arms, smuggling, fake documents, drug trafficking, and other illegal activities.”

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The official added: “For effective prevention of illegal activities, relevant federal and provincial departments and intelligence agencies are working together.”

The army’s decision to farm in KP comes after the Punjab government allocated over 45,000 acres of land to the force for a “Corporate Agriculture Farming” project in the shape of a “joint venture” to enhance the crop yield in order to ensure food autarky in March of this year.

“The army will play a role at the management level to make the project a success story. However, the ownership of the land will continue to stay with the provincial government. The military will not get any profit or share in the revenue to be mopped from corporate agriculture farming,” sources in the armed forces had told The News back then.

The report stated that corporate agriculture farming will be initiated on 45,267 acres of the Punjab government in the Bhakkar, Khushab and Sahiwal districts. The project will be completed in phases.

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However, the Lahore High Court in June declared the government’s decision to lease the land illegal.

The LHC stated that the Punjab interim government lacks a constitutional mandate to transfer up to 1 million acres of state land to the Pakistan Army for corporate agriculture farming.

But in July, a two-member bench of the LHC suspended the order of the same court that prohibited the transfer of land to the Pakistan Army for corporate farming on a 20-year lease.

Origional Source: GEO

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