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ISLAMABAD: The law ministry on Thursday notified high court advocate Shahid Naseem Tahir as legal adviser of the Capital Development Authority (CDA).

The ministry removed Kashif Ali Malik as the civic agency’s legal advisor “with immediate effect”.

Mr Malik was the CDA’s counsel in the Grand Hyatt case in which the Islamabad High Court had last year upheld the cancellation of the lease of land meant for a five star hotel, but the builder, BNP (Private) Limited, constructed luxury apartments and sold them.

Mr Malik was also the CDA’s counsel in the case related to the illegal buildings in Banigala. He prepared a report in which the civic agency highlighted 122 unauthorised buildings in the area.

As CDA’s legal counsel, Mr Malik also successfully represented the civic agency in the Safa Gold Mall case, encroachments by Marriot, Centaurus, CDA’s acquired land, powerful housing societies including Bahria Town, non-conforming use of residential buildings by media houses and illegal chambers of lawyers.

The notification issued by the law ministry says: “in terms of rule 14(1)(g) of the Rules of Business, 1973, this division appoints Mr Shahid Naseem Tahir, Advocate High Court…as legal advisor in Capital Development Authority at Islamabad, by disengaging Mr Kashif Ali Malik, Advocate, with immediate effect, on a monthly retainer to be settled and paid by the said department.”

It further says: “This [is issued] with the approval of secretary law and justice division in consultation with the learned attorney general of Pakistan.”

The new CDA legal advisor has represented the prime minister in the Election Commission of Pakistan, Islamabad High Court and Anti Terrorism Court where Prime Minister Imran Khan and several other PTI leaders were facing a case for violence during the 2014 sit-in in Islamabad.

Mr Tahir also contested the elections on a PTI ticket for the Punjab Assembly from PP-67 Mandi Bahauddin. He secured 25,491 votes against Sajid Ahmed Khan’s 60,099.

Published in Dawn, October 12th, 2018