Anti-encroachment drive: PTI MNA stops CDA from retrieving state land in G-7


Rafiq Siddiqui


Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf member National Assembly Ali Awan on Wednesday forced the Capital Development Authority (CDA) to stop an anti-encroachment operation in Sector G-7.

Sources said that as the anti-encroachment operation kicked off to retrieve a plot in adverse possession costing billions of rupees in Sector G-7 Markaz, the MNA reached the spot and intervene, forcing the CDA team to stop the operation in the middle.

The land was owned by Pakistan Post but it had grabbed by some private persons and converted it into a junkyard.

The Post Office officials, who were also present at the scene of the operation, expressed their resentment over the intervention of the PTI lawmaker saying on the one hand, the new government was retrieving the occupied state land while on the other hand; its own members were protesting land grabbers and the land mafia.

They also demanded of Prime Minister Imran Khan to take notice of the issue and stop party leaders and workers from supporting the land mafia.

According to the sources, CDA Member Estate Khushal Khan had ordered the enforcement department to vacate the costly 5-kanal plot from the occupation of the land mafia on a complaint of the Post Office.

The sources said that when the CDA enforcement department started operation, Awa, a PTI newly elected MNA from NA-53 Islamabad, reached the spot and ordered the anti-encroachment staff to stop the operation at once and leave the place.

The MNA also threatened the CDA enforcement staff that if they attempted to carry out the operation to retrieve the plot, the officials will have to face severe consequences, the sources said.

According to the sources, CDA Deputy Director Riaz Khan updated the CDA member estate about the interference of the ruling party MNA, and the member estate called the staff back.

CDA Member Estate Khushal Khan said that the land belonged to Post Office and its administration had written letters to the civic body several times to evacuate the plot.

“As soon as the enforcement directorate started the operation, the land mafia called the MNA, who stopped the CDA team from retrieving the land from the adverse occupation, and the operation fell victim to political interference,” he said.

Earlier, CDA enforcement officials backed by police had to halt along the Nullah Korang after demolishing a small portion of a large home.

The CDA enforcement officials and the Islamabad Capital Territory administration and police officials carried out had also carried out the operation in Mohra Noor and Banigala against illegally-constructed homes on the Nullah Korang.

The much-touted operation has been started across the country including in Islamabad after the federal government issued directives to provincial and civic bodies to retrieve the state land from adverse possession.

According to some reports, the authorities have been selective in their so-called operations with laying hand on small encroachments and leaving the big fish, who have occupied vast swathes of public land with the alleged connivance of civic bodies’ officials.