14,000 encroachments surround Nankana

Need for operation against encroachers and illegal construction, says Azam Nazir

Our Correspondent April 25, 2024
Says coordinated and collaborated efforts needed for complete eradication of encroachment. PHOTO: EXPRESS


Federal Law and Justice Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar on Wednesday disclosed that 14,000 encroachments and illegal constructions in Nankana Sahib’s abandoned Waqf land had been detected during a survey.

Responding to call attention notice on the matter presented by PML-N MNAs during a session of the National Assembly presided over by Speaker Ayaz Sadiq, the minister said influential individuals were responsible for these encroachments.

He added that some of the land was occupied by government departments as well.
The minister stressed the need for a vigorous operation against the encroachers.

“The operation will be carried out in consultation with the stakeholders.”

Azam further said the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) would be fully supported in this endeavor.

He continued that the ETPB had also written to the interior ministry seeking its assistance for the removal of the encroachments.

The minister said steps would be taken in light of the Supreme Court’s directives and the recommendation of the former police officer Dr Shoaib Suddle commission on minorities’ rights.

“A major campaign against the encroachments and illegal constructions on Waqf properties is needed. The federal government will provide its full support to the ETPB.”

Azam said the top court had directed to set up a commission on this matter.

“The commission headed by Dr Suddle has also started working on the case.”

The minister informed the House that the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has also been assigned a special responsibility in connection with the encroachments in Nankana Sahib.

He further said 1,447 acres in Nankana Sahib were occupied by illegal settlements and towns. He added that there was also a cemetery spread over 12 acres there.

“These encroachments cannot be removed overnight unless there is a major operation,” the minister said, adding that the government was clarifying its policy over the matter.

He concluded by saying that the MNAs had rightly pointed out that this was a very serious and important issue.

In the year 2016, six police officials -- including an inspector, sub-inspector, and assistant sub-inspector – as well as two guards of the ETPB were injured in a clash over an attempt to recover trust land from illegal occupants in the Kot Sanat Ram area of Nankana Sahib.

The chairman of the ETPB back then, Siddiqul Farooq, had claimed that the illegal occupants were being backed by the then MPA, Zulqarnain Dogar.
He had continued that the ETPB and the police team were attacked by people associated with the squatters.

In response to another calling attention notice, the federal law minister said the government was making every effort possible to increase the energy mix to provide affordable electricity to the consumers.

He continued that a factory would be set up in Pakistan with the assistance of China to manufacture solar panels in the country to reduce their cost.
(With input from Radio Pakistan)


Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ