- Senators say there is difference in a voluntary donation of land and forced occupation
Senate Standing Committee on Defence during a meeting, on Monday, formed a sub-committee on the matter of occupation of land by the military and Pakistan Air Force in Quetta district.
Senator Lt Gen (r) Abdul Qayyum has been appointed as its convener and Senator Hidayatullah and Senator Farhatullah Babar were given a task to hold meetings with the air force, ministry of defence, Balochistan government, and the owners of the land in Quetta to prepare a substantive report on the matter.
The committee was told by the air commodore that the PAF is using land in Samungli as an air base, in Nohisar as an airfield, and in Maslaikh as a firing range. He said that these three lands were acquired in 1942, 1978 and 2008 respectively; all due procedure was followed and documents are also available, he elaborated.
He told the committee that the air force intends to set up a new city, Yunusabad, in Quetta named after a PAF Captain Yunus following the pattern of Rashidabad, a city set up in Sindh.
The representative told the house that the area and the facilities therein will be primarily aimed for the underprivileged and no benefits will be entertained to those related to the air force.
The sub-committee was formed as in the meeting it was discussed that the adjournment motion of Senators Muhammad Usman Kakar, Sardar Muhammad Azam Khan Musakhel and Gul Bashra regarding an alarming rise in the occupation of land by the military and the air force in Quetta, which was a source discontent among people.
The committee meeting was chaired by Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed at the Pakistan Institute of Parliamentary Services in Islamabad.
The movers of the adjournment motion Senator Kakar and Senator Musakhel while giving their view said that there lies a difference in a voluntary donation of land and forced occupation of land.
Senator Usman Kakar said that the land for Rashidabad was donated by the father of late captain Rashid Khan, while in the case of Quetta it is being forcibly acquired. He said that much of the land in Balochistan is still undivided and is a collective property of tribes.
Senator Azam Musakhel also referred to three resolutions of the Balochistan Assembly which had condemned this forced occupation in 1999, 2002 and 2014.
The committee also heard two landowners from Balochistan and after deliberations and suggestions formed a sub-committee on the matter.