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LAHORE: Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) Chairman Siddiqul Farooq offered on Thursday Awami Muslim League Chief Sheikh Rashid to buy the ETPB land he had been occupying for a long time.

He told a press conference the ETPB wanted Mr Rashid to follow court decision regarding the vacation of ETPB land.

“The whole Haveli is not our property as the ETPB owns only 10 marlas adjacent to it, which Mr Rashid has been occupying unlawfully. So he should either vacate it or buy it at Rs150 million.”

He said the property in question was earlier with tenants who used to pay a monthly rent to the ETPB. During Musharraf’s regime, Mr Rashid occupied the property (D-158, D 329 in Bohar Bazaar). On Nov 21, 2014, the administrator’s office issued eviction orders to Mr Rashid, which he challenged with the administrator’s court.

During 17 hearings, Mr Rashid got the case adjourned nine times.

“Mr Rashid appeared in person once on Aug 7, 2015, and again on July 25, 2016. In his absence, his nephew and the secretary appeared before the court and they could not prove their possession as lawful.

He requested Mr Rashid not to make the issue political and hand over the state land to the ETPB.

Also, the administration transferred its Rawalpindi zonal administrator to Lahore.

Mr Farooq rejected the impression that his transfer was linked with the Lal Haveli case. He called it a routine matter.

Published in Dawn, October 28th, 2016