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ISLAMABAD: Adviser to the Prime Minister on Interior and Accountability, Mirza Shahzad Akbar on Sunday said that the government had retrieved 8,085 acres of illegally occupied state land worth Rs210 billion through reclamation operations against 'notorious' land grabbers in Punjab.

Speaking at a presser here, he also revealed the names of 36 politicians belonging to opposition Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), who he alleged were either complicit with the land grabbers or directly part of the mafia.

Sharing details about the Khokhar brothers, he alleged that they had illegally occupied state land of 1,000 kanals in Sheikhupura district worth Rs70 million.

He further added that 45 kanals of their spectacular Khokhar palace was private property, which they had occupied and judicial proceedings were ongoing against them.

“The worth of the illegally occupied government land which was reclaimed from them by the revenue department is Rs1.5 billion,” said Akbar, adding that property of 80 kanals and four marlas, worth Rs3bn, was recovered from them two months ago.

Akbar shared details for the Nahra brothers and revealed that state property of 267 kanals and one marla was retrieved from them, worth Rs0.1bn.

“They were charged a penalty of Rs25 million for the use of state property in this period and they have to pay compensation for that,” he added.

MNA Khurram Dastgir Khan, Akbar alleged, had setup a CNG and petrol station on government land worth Rs92.5m which was retrieved by the government and a public park was later made on it.

He said the people of Gujranwala had witnessed this retrieval and conversion to a public amenity. The penalty for this property was Rs37m for which proceedings have started and a first information report (FIR) has also been submitted according to the minister. He added that another one kanal of state property, worth Rs60m was also retrieved.

From Senator Chaudhry Tanveer Khan, he added, there were successful retrievals of benami property worth Rs7bn and a further 27 kanals of state land, worth Rs1 billion.

The adviser said that 2,400 kanals of state land in Sargodha worth Rs2.5bn was also retrieved from PML-N leader Daniyal Aziz and "he has to give a penalty of Rs48m for it".

He also named MNA Javed Latif and said he screams a lot but these are his actions. He said the following recoveries of state land had been made from him: Eight kanals and two marlas in a flour mill, an illegal wagon adda in Sheikhapura and 30 kanals and 16 marlas in a paper mill. Akbar added Latif had a plaza on the highway too, which would soon be reclaimed.

MNA Ehsanul Haq Bajwa was in alleged control of 664 kanals of state property with a value of Rs1.25bn. This was reclaimed too, according to the minister.

Former MNA Sohail Shaukat Butt was in possession through an intermediary of an illegal petrol pump built on seven marlas which was also successfully reclaimed.

Akbar also counted the following names of PML-N leaders from whom either successful recoveries were made or would be made in the future. PML-N leader Malik Mazhar Rasheed Khan (25 acres of Auqaf property with a worth of Rs37m), ex-MPA Mir Badshah Qaisrani (10,000 kanals from 33,000 kanals of agricultural land with a worth of Rs1 billion), Ijaz Ahmed (1,732 kanals with a worth of Rs0.5bn which will be retrieved), ex-MPA Sher Ali Khan Gorchani (1,200 kanals from 7,500 kanals of forest land with a worth of Rs1.25 billion), ex-MNA Abid Sher Ali (11 acres of state property on Jhang road with a worth of Rs2 billon), Javed Hashmi's son-in-law (60 acres of agricultural land of Auqaf property), MNA Maiza Hameed's husband (70 acres of land of irrigation department with a worth of Rs0.1 billion).

Akbar said that the summary of the findings showed there was a whole process through which these individuals and land grabbers usurped and made use of state property by erecting plazas, markets, cinemas, housing societies and more on them.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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