Following reports of money changing hands in the tendering process for various projects in the Parliament Lodges, the civic body has been directed to conduct a probe into the matter.
This was directed by a sub-committee of the Senate Committee of the House in its meeting on Friday. The meeting was held at the Parliament House with Senator Kalsoom Parveen in the chair.
The committee discussed the matter of illegal occupation of a number of shops in the lodges.
Officials of the Capital Development Authority (CDA) told the sub-committee that teams of the civic body had conducted an operation in the lodges and these illegally occupied shops have now been vacated.
The committee members reiterated that any decision regarding the Parliament House or the Parliament Lodges must be taken after taking the Senate’s House Committee into confidence.
Over the past week, the CDA’s enforcement teams, accompanied by a sub-divisional magistrate from the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) administration, evicted several former lawmakers from the lodges.
Last week, the CDA’s Directorate of Parliament Lodges had issued notices to as many as 92 lawmakers who had failed to mark a return to the parliament in the July 25 general elections. They had been directed to vacate their family suites in the Parliament Lodges.
When they failed to comply, a team from CDA’s Enforcement Directorate broke into and emptied 62 to 65 family suites at the lodges occupied by former lawmakers including Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) Abid Sher Ali, Talal Chaudhry, Bilal Virk, Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party’s (PkMAP) Mahmood Khan Achakzai, Pakistan Peoples Party’s Ghulam Rabbani Khar and MQM’s Dr Farooq Sattar amongst others.
Earlier this week, the remaining 20-25 lodges were cleared.
Following directions from the Senate Standing Committee on House Business, the CDA had also conducted an operation against the illegally occupied shops in the lodges and vacated eight of these.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 19th, 2018.