Reacting to allegations levelled by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leaders (PTI) on demolition drive in Malir, Sindh government spokesperson clarified on Saturday that the drive was being conducted against land mafia and was not aimed at targeting any political party.
Speaking to the media at Kidney Hill Park, where he reviewed the progress of encroachment’s removal, Wahab said the opposition leader should appreciate the government’s move to raze “illegal structures” instead of taking offence.
“Has the action been taken against Haleem in particular?” questioned Wahab, and then continued: “The action has been taken against those persons the lease for whose properties has expired.”
Wahab warned that of action against any person attempting to hinder the drive.
Separately, Sindh Labour Minister Saeed Ghani said while addressing a press conference that it was illegal to build farm houses and establish residential schemes on land leased for agricultural purposes.
He further elaborated that the authorities had razed structures built on lands whose 30-year-lease had either expired or they were being used for purposes other than they was leased for.
Ghani maintained that there were clear orders of the Supreme Court (SC) regarding action on such properties, adding that the chief justice of Pakistan had personally directed the deputy commissioners of all districts to carry out the action.
“It is ridiculous that the PTI is dubbing the operation against the encroachments an act of political revenge just because properties that have been razed belong to its leader(s),” he said. “Those who had congratulated the Lahore chief minister for a similar operation are trying to make the demolition of encroachments in Karachi controversial.”
He said the anti-corruption department and the Board of Revenue had been taking action against such illegal occupation of land, but many had acquired stay orders from the courts, albeit adding that all such stay orders were quashed by the SC.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 7th, 2021.
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