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MANSEHRA: The Abbottabad Circuit Bench of the Peshawar High Court has cancelled the allotment of land owned by over 700 mosques to prayer leaders in Tanawal area of Mansehra district.

The land allotment notification was issued by the senior member of the provincial board of revenue in Oct 2007 on the orders of then chief minister Akram Khan Durrani.

The bench consisting of Justice Attique Shah and Justice Arshad Ali gave the ruling on a petition filed by former naib nazim of Mansehra tehsil Bashiruddin Tanoli against the notification.

The former nazim told reporters here on Saturday that he had requested the SMBR for the review of the land allotment but as the request was rejected, he moved the court for relief. He said the mosques had got back the over 16,000 kanals land, which was allotted to prayer leaders in 2007. Mr Tanoli however said prayer leaders could use the land until they’re associated with mosques. He said the land was originally earmarked by the Amb and Pulrah states for mosques before their merger with Pakistan.

MARKET PRICE TO BE PAID: The district administration has decided it will pay the market price to the people, whose land is to be acquired for various China Pakistan Economic Corridor projects.

The administration has already banned the sale and purchase of land in 34 patwar circles, where the CPEC initiatives’ execution have been planned.

“I have written a letter to the revenue department requesting a four times increase in the price offered for the land being acquired for CPEC projects in line with the market rate,” deputy commissioner Ayaz Khan told reporters here on Saturday.

The DC said currently, the landowners were being made low payments in line with a ‘settlement formula’ finalised in 1946-47.

He said he was hopeful that the department would approve reasonable payments for landowners and thus, ensuring smooth execution of the CPEC initiatives.

DRUG PUSHER HELD: The Balakot police on Saturday arrested a drug peddler and seized over three kilogrammes of charas in Garlat area.

A police party led by Balakot police station SHO Javed Khan raided a house in Garlat area and arrested Wazir Mohammad after seizure of charas.

Also in the day, the police arrested Sajjad after recovery of dozens of liquor bottles.

Published in Dawn, January 14th, 2018