The Senate Defence Committee has asked Defence Housing Authority DHA (Lahore) to provide a copy of agreement between the authority and a private company which acquired a land for the development of plots to accommodate and facilitate the families of martyrs.
The development came during a meeting of Defence Committee, chaired by Senator Mushahid Sayed, on Tuesday, who asked the DHA to provide a copy of agreement signed between the private company and the authority. Senator Farhatullah Babar, of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), informed the committee that he had not yet been provided the copy of the agreement.
Former Army Chief Gen (retd) Ashfaq Parvez Kayani’s brother Kamran Kayani of Elysium Holding and Hammad Arshad of Globaco offered their services to facilitate DHA Lahore to carry out the project by acquiring the land. However, they failed to deliver the plots to the soldiers and families of shuhada and general public even after six years. This prompted the DHA to lodge a formal complaint against Kamran Kayani and Hammad Arshad with NAB.
The senator said that the issue came under discussion during the hearing in Supreme Court regarding the law and order situation in Karachi and the lease agreement came to light according to which the land was sold to DHA at a pittance of Rs 2.5 per square metre. DHA City project was launched in 2009 primarily to accommodate and facilitate the families of shuhada (martyrs), war-wounded and soldiers of Pakistan armed forces by allotting them small-size plots in recognition of their services for the country.
He also said that the establishment of DHA Karachi had never been brought before Parliament but included in schedule 7 of the Constitution at the time of lifting of martial law so that even the Parliament could not change it except as in the manner as required for amending the Constitution. He informed the committee that DHA Lahore was previously a private housing society that was forcibly taken over during the tenure of former President General (retd) Pervez Musharraf through a presidential order by amending the17th amendments. The senator also questioned the manner in which these housing authorities were given legal cover by manipulation.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 20th, 2016.
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