Land allotment: ‘Some elements’ trying to defame ex-army chief

Published: January 26, 2017
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LAHORE: Defence analysts are of the view that there is nothing unusual about the 90 acres of land allotted to Gen (retd) Raheel Sharif, saying ‘some elements’ have leaked the information with the intention defaming him.

Dr Hasan Askari Rizvi, an analyst, while talking to The Express Tribune, said: “Apparently, this information has been leaked to tarnish his image which he had gained throughout his service and during his tenure as chief of the army staff.”

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He said the British had adopted the policy of granting agricultural land to military personnel in Punjab in order to encourage recruitment to the army. “This [step] helped improve the socioeconomic status of army personnel in an agricultural society.”

He said in the post-independence period, land in Thal desert was assigned to the military for allotting to former military personnel.

“The provincial assembly was informed in January 1988 that the Punjab government had allotted about 450,000 acres of land to 5,538 military personnel between 1977 and 1985,” he said.

However, a retired military man, on the condition of anonymity, said: “He [Sharif] is awarded [land] out of the way,” adding, “At the maximum a retired military officer is allotted 50 acres (400 kanal) of land, while Gen (retd) Raheel Sharif is given 90 acres which is an exception.”

“Moreover, this is a prime piece of land located near Lahore. Otherwise, officers of lower ranks are given land in far-off areas which are not in the reach of a common man,” he said while talking to The Express Tribune on telephone. He spoke on record for about 10 minutes till the end of the conversation, but later ringed back to request not to be named.

“To the best of my knowledge, I cannot find a single example of awarding this much land to any general — at least in the air force or the navy,” he went on to say.

He said: “It makes no sense that Raheel Sharif has been allotted 50 acres of land under his prerogative as a four-star general, and another 40 acres as the chief of army staff,” adding, “Every army chief is a four-star general.”

He said officers of lower ranks (subedar and naib-subedar) are given 25 acres (200 kanal) of land — at most — and added that it was also not necessary that they were allotted land soon after their retirement.

“They are allotted land on the basis of its availability,” adding, “Many retired officers have to wait for years to get the land.”

“If a retired officer dies without getting land, he loses his right over the land and his children also cannot get it.” He added that if a serving military officer of the rank of brigadier or lieutenant-general gets land, he would not be allotted more land even if he gets promoted to the rank of a general.

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Meanwhile, military sources, on the condition of anonymity, said: “Gen (retd) Raheel Sharif is given land strictly in accordance with the relevant rules and provisions.”

They said it was agricultural land and added that it could not be used for commercial or some other purposes. They said in case of any emergency, this land could be taken back.

Lt-Gen (retd) Talat Masood while talking to The Express Tribune, said: “I am not sure but [Gen Raheel] Sharif must be given land in accordance with the available provisions,” adding, “It is necessary to have information about the record of land given to other generals so that a comparison can be made.”

Published in The Express Tribune, January 26th, 2017.

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Reader Comments (27)

  • abreez
    Jan 26, 2017 - 9:17AM

    I wonder if His Royal Highness, Ex-Crown Prince has 90 acres of land then why he is seeking the job of ‘security guard’ of Saudi Royal Family. 90 acres of land, even if it is agricultural land, means Rs.10,000,000 annually. Rs. 833,333.33+pension are more than enough for a man who wants to live in Pakistan.Recommend

  • PrakashG
    Jan 26, 2017 - 9:30AM

    It is nice gesture. Would be a great idea if they are also given training in agriculture while in service.Recommend

  • Munir Akram
    Jan 26, 2017 - 10:03AM

    There is no one to defame the ex-Chief but he himself or partially his institute.Recommend

  • SuperNeo
    Jan 26, 2017 - 10:03AM

    With this rule of allocating land,In next 10 years whole Pakistan will be owned by n pak army peoples.
    No wonder nation is always in state or war hysteria,Recommend

  • Ameer Qaisrani
    Jan 26, 2017 - 10:10AM

    @abreez Dont speak what you dont know. 90 acres of agriculture land doesnt produce so much income Mr. Dumb
    Actually a lot of stupid idiots are trying to malign such a great Army Chief
    Long live Raheel Shareef!Recommend

  • Haji Atiya
    Jan 26, 2017 - 10:22AM

    Not surprising; the entire length and breadth of Pakistan has been allotted to its military…a plain and simple pension just won’t do !Recommend

  • nadeem
    Jan 26, 2017 - 10:43AM

    This land gift scheme – dating from the colonial era – should be abolished altogether not only for military personnel but for civil servants as well. Recommend

  • Jay
    Jan 26, 2017 - 10:47AM

    @abreez:
    Because he deserves every penny… because he has certainly cleaned up the mess that has been created by our neighbours. Thank you.Recommend

  • Gilani
    Jan 26, 2017 - 10:56AM

    Why promote feudalism which is a bane for the society?Recommend

  • Reader
    Jan 26, 2017 - 11:01AM

    What else one can expect from PML-N media cell.Recommend

  • Black.rose
    Jan 26, 2017 - 11:58AM

    Curious if retired Generals in other countries are warded with land pieces.As far I know its not a practice in India they were also under British Raj but they have moved on. Maybe due to victorious & historical achievements of our army its a special right bestowed on them. At least one thing is clear even how much patriotic he is no body is serving this country for free.Recommend

  • zak
    Jan 26, 2017 - 12:19PM

    90 acres is definitely less for the stature of ex-COAS. Govt should at least double itRecommend

  • Khalid Javaid
    Jan 26, 2017 - 12:32PM

    @abreez:
    90 acres of agricultural land is not likely to bring 1 crore income if not personally not involved in agriculture business. Maximum 27 lacs to 40 lacs can be expected per annum if leased out to someone else. Figures should not be exaggerated to prove your point of view.Recommend

  • Dutch Paki
    Jan 26, 2017 - 1:25PM

    Bigger problem is not seeing that there is a problem. When a normal civil servant reitres he doesn’t get a plot of 9 marla let alone 90 acres so why is it ok for non civilian to get plots and land at the end of his/her services.Recommend

  • Arshad
    Jan 26, 2017 - 1:39PM

    India & enemies of Pakistan are scared of the abilities of Pakistan armed forces and spreading canards and lies to defame them, World powers and especially Pakistanis have to realize this situation and reject Indian and anti-Pakistan propaganda in this regard. Indian media tries to hide or downplay good news about Pakistan and misinterpret & overplay the reverse of it.Recommend

  • Rex Minor
    Jan 26, 2017 - 2:04PM

    @nadeem:
    The colonialists did not grant land but confiscated it from land owners. It was the military under General Ayub that started allocating the so called crown land to Generals who participated in the coup and this practice became the hall mark under the rule of General Parvez. The civilians are now waking up to this malpractice.

    Rex MinorRecommend

  • Singh
    Jan 26, 2017 - 2:05PM

    @abreez:
    He doesn’t want to live in Pakistan.Recommend

  • nadeem
    Jan 26, 2017 - 2:49PM

    @Dutch Paki:
    Senior bureaucrats do get plots right in the heart of the capital. This practice too should stop. Recommend

  • Parvez
    Jan 26, 2017 - 3:27PM

    When nothing happened after the DAWN Leaks that was termed as a security breach……this was expected.Recommend

  • WinFin
    Jan 26, 2017 - 3:32PM

    Now now ..isn’t this funny, seeing these indian trolls having sleepless nights on a matter purely internal to Pakistan … hey .. did you see the videos of your own soldiers crying about not getting proper food? Go try getting them a decent piece of roti for lunch before posting any comments about how much land Gen. Raheel is getting.Recommend

  • vinsin
    Jan 26, 2017 - 3:51PM

    @Ameer Qaisrani:
    It produces exactly the income mentioned by abreez.Recommend

  • Zulfiqar Baig
    Jan 26, 2017 - 5:57PM

    If Pakistan gives all free land to General Raheel Sharif, we Pakistanis do not have any objection. He is our hero who put our country on the right track. Pakistanis should just concentrate on corruption which is linked mainly to Civil Politicians and bureaucrats. Recommend

  • Rahul
    Jan 26, 2017 - 7:25PM

    @PrakashG:

    The Jawans are well trained to work in the General’s Orchards.Recommend

  • Rahul
    Jan 26, 2017 - 7:27PM

    @zak:

    He could have taken the whole country, he settled for 90 acres. What a great man.Recommend

  • C M Naim
    Jan 26, 2017 - 8:49PM

    The real issues are:

    Who has any legal right to give away this land?
    Is land given to all army personnel at retirement or is there some selection procedure?
    What is the expected use of the land, for that would explain the reasoning behind this scheme now proudly claimed as a colonial tradition that the independent Pakistan should follow?
    Recommend

  • Sandip
    Jan 26, 2017 - 8:51PM

    @Haji Atiya: You don’t get it. They are so passionate about defending their country, that they believe the best way to do it would be by owning the land that they are supposed to defend. They probably think that once the Indians see their title on the land, they will go around it in fear of these brave warriors.Recommend

  • Khawar Butt
    Jan 26, 2017 - 9:17PM

    It’s high time something should be done about these ‘rules and regulations’.Recommend

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