Petition in Pak SC against expansion of US Embassy

A retired Pakistan Army officer approached the Supreme Court to halt the proposed expansion of the US Embassy.

Islamabad: A retired Pakistan Army officer on Tuesday approached the Supreme Court to halt the proposed expansion of the US Embassy, saying it would pose a threat to national security and the country`s sovereignty.

The constitutional petition was filed by Lt Col (retired) Inam-ul-Rahiem, a practicing advocate of the High Court and chief coordinator of the All Pakistan Ex-Servicemen Legal Forum.

Rahiem named the Chairman of the Capital Development Authority and other officials as respondents and said that the construction of a huge building and "underground bunkers" would pose a threat to the security and sovereignty of Pakistan and go against the "right of life and liberty of citizens" as guaranteed by the Constitution.

He claimed that according to CDA sources, the US State Department had begun construction of the new embassy compound in Islamabad.

The US had already raised the level of its manpower to such an extent that it appeared as if a "mini-state was being constructed", he further claimed.

"The US is expanding its mission in Islamabad through a fortified embassy compound by spending over one billion dollars on its construction. This expanded compound would be sufficient to house hundreds of new employees. Besides, US is strengthening its consulates in Karachi, Peshawar and Lahore," Raheim said in the petition.

He requested the apex court to form a high level commission to visit the site of the US Embassy compound and submit a detailed report.

It could not immediately be ascertained when the apex court would take up the petition.