Officials of Pakistan Army, known for their preservation of rules and discipline, have topped the list of people violating Capital Development Authority’s (CDA) bylaws in agro farming schemes.
A report submitted before the Supreme Court on Wednesday unearthed the names of 10 generals, three brigadiers and five majors, along with senior politicians, journalists and members of legal fraternity for using their ago-farms as commercials centres, in violation of CDA bylaws.
The report highlights that the violators have established marriage halls, offices and residences in the land allotted for operation of poultry and vegetable farms, orchards and nurseries.
The survey, conducted by CDA on instructions of the apex court, identified the violators as former President General (Retired) Pervez Musharraf, Lt General Nadeem Taj, Lt General (Retired) Mubarak Ahmad Malik, Major General Syed Ali Hamid, Saeeda Mahmood — wife of Lt General Mahmood Hassan, Major General (Retired) Attaurehman, Major General (Retired) Ashraf Khan, Brigadier Ahad, Brigadier (Retired) Muhammad Hussain, Brigadier (Retired) Sadiq Quereshi, Major (Retired) Farhatullah Barki, Major (Retired) Muhammad Ali Qureshi, Major Assad Zahoor and Major (Retired) Abdul Majeed Khan.
Former Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz, former Foreign Minister Inamul Haq, Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) Members of National Assembly Hanif Abbasi and Dr Tariq Fazal Chaudhry, Tariq Aziz -- a close aide of Musharraf, among others, were also named in the list of violators.
Additional Legal Advisor CDA, Muhammad Ramzan Chaudhry, informed a three-member bench of the apex court that notices have been served to the violators and action will taken against them. The report maintained that Khushnud Ali Khan, an Islamabad based journalist, did not allow CDA officials to enter his agro-farm for inspection.
The issue was taken up as a suo motu by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry a few years ago based on media reports against the misuse of CDA agro-farms by “influential individuals”.
The chief justice had directed the CDA chairperson to form a commission to investigate the issue and submit a report.
The commission surveyed 505 agro-farms in different localities of the capital, including Tarlai Kalan, Chak Shahzad, Sehana (extension) Poultry & Vegetables Scheme Murre Road, Orchard Scheme H-9 and Nursery Scheme Park Road near Chak Shahzad.
As per CDA bylaws for agro-farming schemes, at least 80% of the allotted land has to be brought under cultivation.
The entire project has to be brought in full production within two years and the output has to be sold at reduced rates in CDA Sasta Bazaars.
The bylaws state that in case of breach of terms — such as if the area is being used for purpose other than poultry and vegetable farming — CDA can cancel the agreement and take possession of the building without any liability to pay compensation.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 29th, 2011.