— State Minister of Interior Shehryar Afridi had issued directives to conduct operations without giving prior notices
ISLAMABAD: The much-awaited anti-encroachment operation against private establishments has finally been conducted on Kashmir Highway, near sector H-13 and G-12, to free the area from illegal occupants of marquees, petrol pumps, and other commercial activities.
All operational staff of the enforcement directorate, under the supervision of CDA Estate Member Khushal Khattak, along with Deputy Commissioner Hamza Shafqaat, SSP Operations Najeeb Bhagvi and more than 350 personnel participated in the operation.
Staff from the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) Administration along with a contingent of reserve police initiated the operation early in the morning. The operation was conducted swiftly and with precision, mainly because State Minister of Interior Shehryar Afridi had given strict instructions to Capital Development Authority (CDA) Chairman Afzal Latif to initiate encroachment operations without prior notification of any kind.
It is pertinent to mention that in March this year, CDA Member Estate Khushal Khattak had sought the assistance of Islamabad Chief Commissioner Aftab Akbar Durrani and IGP Sultan Azam Taimoori to remove illegal occupation along the sector G-12. However, at eleventh hour both ICTA and Islamabad Police refused to assign any magistrate, police, Rangers or CDA enforcement staff.
In a letter addressed to the chiefs of police and district administration, the member estate wrote, “CDA intends to restore acquired land of Kashmir Highway, sector G-12, whereby various structures have been raised in defiance to CDA Ordinance-1960, and also encroached upon acquired ‘Right of Way’ (ROW). Besides, these entrepreneurs have also illegally got direct accesses from main Kashmir Highway.”
It is pertinent to mention that the encroachment actions held in proposed sectors G-12 and H-13 was an anomaly in an otherwise well-planned and well-maintained capital city. Although civic agency had acquired the land from locals but for past three decades it had failed to take possession.
Although the award for G-12 land was given back in 1986, the local residents didn’t accept the terms and condition and refused to vacate. In the 1990’s and 2000’s, multiple anti-encroachment operations were undertaken by CDA with assistance from Police and District Administration with no substantial results.