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ISLAMABAD: After a gap of about two years, the Rawalpindi bench of the Lahore High Court (LHC) on Saturday resumed the hearing of a petition filed by a former army officer against the handing over of the Angoor Adda post to the Afghan government.

In his petition filed in June 2016, retired lieutenant colonel Inamur Rahim had requested initiation of proceedings against the senior officers who had allowed the transfer of Angoor Adda post’s control to the Afghan authorities.

The petitioner said it was an offence under Section 24 of the Pakistan Army Act, 1952, which says delivering any garrison, fortress, airfield, place, post or guard is punishable.

Taking up the petition, Justice Mirza Waqas Rauf of the LHC directed the defence ministry to depute a well-informed officer for court’s assistance and adjourned the hearing till June 4.

According to the petition, the Angoor Adda post is spread over several kilometres where thousands of Pakistanis live. As a result of the handover, the petitioner maintained, those Pakistanis lost their citizenship and had also been made homeless.

It reads: “The decision of military authorities of handing over the post to Afghan government caused serious unrest among the whole nation especially the ex-servicemen, therefore, the petitioner being convener of ex-servicemen legal forum called emergent meeting and after deliberations unanimously expressed their grave concerns that under which authority the military leadership delivered the post to Afghan government.”

It adds that only parliament can decide bilateral matters with other countries while it is army chief’s duty to defend Pakistan.

The petition claims that then army chief Gen Raheel Sharif had consented to hand over the Angoor Adda to the Afghan government which is an act of coram non judice.

Citing the prime minister, defence secretary and senior military authorities as respondents, the petitioner requested the court to direct the prime minister to initiate proceedings against the officials for transferring the post’s control to the Afghan government.

Published in Dawn, May 27th, 2018