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PAKISTAN: Land meant for defence purpose is being misused for commercial activities

The Supreme Court of Pakistan has recently come down heavily on its country’s military establishment for misusing its defence properties for commercial activities. The case dates back to 2016, when a shopping mall was built on defence land. The case came into notice of the Supreme Court when a case related to the construction of Falcon Mall by the Pakistan Military in Karachi in 2016 ,which was reportedly turned into an Air War College Institute was built. The mall was yet to be opened for public use. The three-judge bench was hearing the case related to the use of the land owned by the cantonment board illegally under the Pakistan Airforce (PAF).

Terming the case as an ‘embarrassment for the country’, the Court ordered Retired Lt General Mian Hilal Hussain to appear before the court to answer questions related to the case . During the case, the Chief Justice exclaimed that the cantonment lands were misused for commercial activities. They include three bases that were meant for the Pakistani Air Force, a naval base on which marriage halls and hotels were reportedly built.

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While administration of the third dose began as a cautionary measure for those vulnerable, it has led to questions over the efficacy of the current doses. In May, two doses of the Pfizer vaccine stood at an efficacy rate of 88% against the Delta variant. Subsequent research by teams in Canada and Scotland placed its efficacy at 87% and 75% respectively. Surprisingly, the efficacy rate was reported as 64% in a study conducted by Israel’s Ministry of Health which they cited as a reason for administering dose three of the vaccine.

It’s possible for the range to be this wide, after all a single study cannot accurately pinpoint what the effectiveness of the vaccine might be. But vaccine makers like Pfizer in a statement claimed that administering dose three would help establish the highest protective efficacy against variants like the Delta.

“While protection against severe disease remained high across the full 6 months, a decline in efficacy against symptomatic disease over time and the continued emergence of variants are expected,” the company said.

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Pakistan has a long history of the Military playing a role in the political arena. There have been multiple cases of coup d’état, that is the military overpowering the supposedly elected government. The country has also been facing an economic crisis since recent years. With rising poverty and unemployment, high fiscal deficit, domestic indebtedness, poor investments, the country has run into a macroeconomic crisis.

With major economic crises ravaging the country and political games played by the Pakistani Military, there have been compulsions that have frequently led to such cases of misuse.

Written by- Venkatavardhan S

Edited by- Ubai Sura

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