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LAHORE: Special Assistant to Punjab Chief Minister on Information Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan has said that a merit-based operation is being carried out against land mafia without any political pressure.

She said that the anti-corruption establishment had retrieved thousands of acres of land worth over Rs 181 billion from the illegal occupation of the influential during the PTI regime as compared to retrieval of land worth only Rs2.6 billion during the 10 years of the PML-N government adding that in Punjab the “royal family” had been supporting the land mafia and 50 top PML-N leaders were involved in land grabbing.

Dr. Firdous said the Anti-Corruption Punjab had retrieved more than 460 acres of land from these 50 people associated with the N-League alone and also recovered more than Rs3.42 billion. She said that the corrupt royal family had seized 446 acres of valuable land in Raiwind after 2013 which was being investigated by NAB. She said that “zillay subhani” first changed the master plan of Lahore and then bought the valuable land worth billions of rupees in pennies. The priests of money looted billions for their own benefit.

The Special Assistant said that the Punjab was the food basket of the whole of Pakistan but Shahbaz Sharif adopted the policy of establishing residential colonies on valuable agricultural lands. She said that a province with a prosperous agricultural economy like Punjab was looted in the name of making it an industrial province. The result was that our province was no longer agricultural or industrial. The PTI government was creating 13 special economic zones in the province along with the promotion of agriculture. She said that the Sharifs and their entire family and followers, while politicizing factories and sugar mills, started such failed industrial projects instead of greenery and crops under the guise of which billions of rupees were transferred abroad.

Dr. Firdous said that a major operation was carried out against Khokhar brothers in Lahore for retrieving 38 kanals of government land. The Lahore district administration got vacated 38 kanals of government land from the Khokhar brothers. She said that the value of the land was about one billion rupees. The structures and shops on 38 kanals of land were demolished, she added.

The SACM said that the operation was monitored by ADCR Lahore and SSP Operations and after its retrieval the land was handed over to the Punjab government.

She further said that the Punjab government was carrying out 165 development programs in Sialkot with an estimated cost of Rs27 billion. She further said that 50 new schemes would further cost Rs700 million adding that Rs300 was also being spent on the community development program while 47 schemes of sustainable development would also cost Rs350 million.

She said that tenders worth Rs5 billion had also been invited for water supply and sanitation projects which were being carried out by the Punjab government with the cooperation of Asian Development Bank.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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