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KARACHI: An anti-encroachment operation has commenced in Karachi’s Malir to demolish over 200 illegal farmhouses owned by influential people including political and religious leaders.

Following the orders of the deputy commissioner, an anti-encroachment operation was started in Malir to demolish over 200 illegal farmhouses under the decision taken on December 11, 2018 to cancel the 30-year lease on the government land across Sindh.

The farmhouses are reportedly owned by influential people including political, religious leaders and police officers. A farmhouse owned by the Opposition Leader in the Sindh Assembly Haleem Adil Sheikh was also demolished by the anti-encroachment team.

The government had leased out the land for 30 years for agriculture, dairy, cattle and poultry farming purpose. However, illegal trade of government land was made for commercial purpose.

Moreover, DC Malir had also sent letters to the relevant department including Deputy Inspector General (DIG) East and Senior Superintendent Police (SSP) Malir, Director Anti-Encroachment Cell, Rangers Sindh, Commander Rangers 62 and 42 Wing and others regarding the retrieval of over 500 acres of land worth billions during the anti-encroachment drive.

Hundreds of officials from police and other concerned departments are taking part in the ongoing anti-encroachment operation which will be continued for one week. The Senior Member Board of Revenue (SMBR) said in a statement that no one will be allowed to occupy government land.

In a statement, Haleem Adil Sheikh said that farmhouses of his cousin Tariq Qureshi are being demolished in Gadap, whereas, heavy machinery was sent to demolish a farmhouse of his brother Azeem Adil Sheikh in Malir.

Sheikh said that the owners possess complete documents regarding the ownership of the land; however, the actions were being carried out by the officials despite having a court stay order.

The politician termed it political revenge being taken by the Sindh Chief Minister over the orders of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari after he assumed charge as the opposition leader.

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