ISLAMABAD: The Joint Action Committee (JAC) of Quaid-e-Azam University (QAU) on Thursday demanded that Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan issue directives for freeing the country’s leading university from influential land-grabbers who have illegally occupied its land.
In a letter written by the JAC to the premier, it was requested that anti-encroachment operation at the QAU should be taken to its logical end and all the grabbed land should be retrieved at the earliest.
The letter mentions that an area of 1,709 acres was acquired and allotted to QAU by the government through the Capital Development Authority (CDA) during 1967-72.
The university then inherited a number of illegal occupants, including nine villages inside the campus area, which kept growing for several years.
Further encroachments on a significant part of university land were made by outsiders due to a non-existent boundary wall, which remains incomplete due to bureaucratic hurdles of government agencies as well as the non-availability of funds.
On the university’s request and demand of stakeholders including QAU faculty, alumni, employees and students, the federal government instructed the local administration to start an anti-encroachment operation on January 5, 2019; promising the retrieval of all of the encroached land.
This initiative on the federal government’s part was highly eulogised, especially by the JAC.
However, the committee expressed concern as the anti-encroachment campaign lost steam after only three days. Even though January 10 was given as the last deadline to clear QAU’s land, there is a complete lull and nobody in the government is concerned about the situation.
It is feared that the university administration is at the mercy of the powerful encroachers and it if the situation continues then it could lead to a complete loss of the opportunity to retrieve QAU’s land.
Hence, it is requested that the anti-encroachment operation at QAU be owned and continued by the government until the end of the illegal occupation of 298 acres, in addition to handing over 1,709 acres.
It must be stated here that the issue of encroached land is not merely an issue of the university’s prestige, it has effectively crippled the university’s functioning, halted development projects, and caused serious security and disciplinary concerns amid an increasing number of young students, both male and female.