— Housing sec tells court committee formed to look into anti-encroachment operation
ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan (SC) on Tuesday directed the Ministry of Housing to look into the alleged illegal occupation of property belonging to the Capital Development Authority (CDA) by the Islamabad Police.
According to a petition submitted by the local development authority, a house belonging to a CDA official was taken over in 2007 to house then Islamabad Inspector General of Police (IGP). Since then, it has been under the possession of the police and currently the incumbent Islamabad IGP Muhammad Amir Zulfiqar is living there, the petition adds.
As a three-member bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar heard the petition on Tuesday, a CDA official informed that this is not a lone incident as at least 200 more quarters have been occupied by the local police.
When called to the rostrum for defence, IGP Zulfiqar feigned ignorance and claimed that he was not aware of any such [property ownership] issues.
At that, the apex judge remarked that it seems like [the IGP] came to the capital city for the Lal Masjid operation and ended up illegally occupying flats”.
Rhetorically, he questioned how a country was supposed to function when its “law enforcers who are supposed to obey the laws will break the laws themselves”.
Ordering the housing minister to look into the case, the top court disposed of the case.
During the same hearing, the housing secretary told the court that a committee comprising members of the National Assembly (NA) has been formed to oversee the matter of the anti-encroachment operation in Karachi.
He related that out of 563 illegally occupied government properties, 516 have been recovered.
Then, the chief justice remarked that a two-month time period was given or the operation in Karachi precisely due to the law and order situation.
“The Sindh governor had called me personally to assure that he is working on the matter in a personal capacity,” the chief justice added.