ISLAMABAD: Vice Chancellor of the state-run Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU) on Tuesday publicly called upon the federal government to take notice of the encroachment on its land without further delay.

“Land grabbers already occupy some 200 acres of our land. We are surrounded by the expanding illegal settlements,” QUA VC Dr Javed Ashraf told a news conference on Tuesday.

“We are a university. We don’t have any force to get our land vacated,” he explained. “It is the responsibility of concerned state departments to act, but unfortunately we don’t get due response from them,” the VC said.

As the vice chancellor spoke about his fears of possible presence of terrorists there, an official of the university held a map showing the illegal settlements. Former Senate chairman Syed Nayyar Hussain Bokhari occupies 54 kanals of the encroached land, according to the official.

Dr Ashraf recalled that in 1967 the Capital Development Authority allotted 1,709 acres for the establishment of the QAU and the then government paid its price. But on the spot the university got only1,509 acres.

“Thus the remaining 200 acres are under the illegal possession of qabza mafia,” he said. Real estate agents estimate the current value of those 200 acres to be Rs16 billion.

QAU’s spokesperson Dr Ilhan Niaz told mediapersons that for 26 years the university management had been requesting the CDA to demarcate its allotted land but the civic body paid no heed to the request.

“Documents and requests that we sent to CDA for demarcation would be sufficient to produce 10 PhD theses,” he said and added but CDA has failed to start the demarcation. An FIR has also been lodged against the university officials in the past for starting construction on university’s own land. This is the level of collusion between land grabbers and the state organisations,” he said.

It may be noted that the QAU land issue caught the attention of the media when the university recently reported new encroachment by former Senate chairman Syed Nayyar Hussain Bokhari on Bhara Kahu side.

Subsequently, the university complained to the cabinet members and the chairman of the National Accountability Bureau.

University records show that it was allotted 181 acres, four kanals and seven marlas in Kot Hatial area, where it has dispute with former senate chairman.

However, Syed Nayyar Hussain Bokhari denied to Dawn the allegations. “I have legitimate possession of the land which I had purchased in 2004 and 2005 in khasra number 1449/145, 1447/142,” he said.

That land was “totally un-acquired and private land and there is no question of involvement of CDA and QAU on this land.” He claimed to have revenue department’s documents to prove that.

“There are nine other houses/portions of the disputed land but only my name is being dragged. If the university has any issue, why they are not filing a case against me in a court of law,” he asked.

Published in Dawn, November 9th, 2016

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