RAWALPINDI: Days after the Capital Development Authority (CDA) served a notice to the Pakistan Navy for its allegedly illegal and unauthorised construction of a sailing club at the Rawal Lake, the navy on Thursday clarified that the land in question was, in fact, allotted to it in 1994 for the development of a water sports centre.
According to a notification issued by the Prime Minister’s Secretariat on September 9, 1994, a copy of which is available with Pakistan Today, prime minister of the day, late Benazir Bhutto, had “approved the development of a water sports centre at Rawal Lake” and directed the Finance Division to “release Rs18.6 million during [the] current financial year [1994-1995]” for the purpose.
A statement issued by the Pakistan Navy on Wednesday asserted that navy divers are trained at the club who, then, take part in rescue operations in all four provinces and the federally administrative units including Azad Jammu and Kashmir as the club is the only such facility in the north of the country.
According to the statement, Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi took the initiative to upgrade the site to bring it at par with its international counterparts. For the aforestated purpose, the Pakistan Navy Sailing Club was constructed which, the navy said, will not only support the sport of sailing but will also provide additional facilities to schools, colleges and other institutions in addition to its members both civilians and the military.
The club, according to the navy, will also hold national and international water sports events.
The statement said that the membership drive and allied services were initiated to generate funds for the said purposes so that the club administration does not have to seek money from the government.
The statement, however, made no mention of the CDA notice.