Suo motu action on QAU land-grabbing

Updated January 20, 2017


ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar on Thursday took suo motu notice of reports of land-grabbing at the Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU).

The notice was taken on an application sent to the Supreme Court registrar by QAU Vice Chancellor Dr Javed Ashraf, alleging that the university’s land was “facing liquidation at the hands of land-grabbers, some of whom are so politically influential that the ICT administration and the Capital Development Authority (CDA) are unable to move effectively to even demarcate the university’s boundaries”.

“These land grabbers include eight settlements the university inherited when its original land allocation was materialised between 1967 and 1972,” the letter states, adding that while the inhabitants were paid for their land by CDA, the land was not vacated at the time of handing-over.

The VC’s letter, available with Dawn, claimed QAU had paid for 1,709 acres of land, but only 1,507 acres were allotted to it.

Out-of-order ventilators, amputation of newborn’s fingers provoke CJP’s ire

“Over time, these settlements have grown and now pose a continuous nuisance and threat to the development and peace of the university. These local settlements also have links to politically-influential persons and behave as if the university is their tenant,” the letter claimed.

In October last year, the university issued an official press release, accusing former Senate chairman Nayyer Hussain Bukhari of encroaching on QAU land.

Mr Bukhari’s brother, Syed Sibtul Haider Bukhari, had denied the allegations at the time and claimed they had their own land adjacent to the varsity.

The CDA, headed by Mayor Ansar Aziz, has formed joint teams to demarcate the university’s land, which include staff from the Survey of Pakistan, as well as ICT administration officials. These teams are currently in the process of demarcating the varsity’s land.

However, in the letter to the SC registrar, the QAU VC makes an impassioned appeal, saying that the varsity has already lost over 600 acres to land-grabbers, speculating that at the present rate of attrition, “there won’t be a QAU campus worth the name” in 10 years time.

The application contended that the university administration approached almost every authority to help them to resolve the issue, but in vain.

The CJP has ordered the CDA chairman and interior secretary to furnish detailed reports on the matter within three days.

Healthcare issues

The apex court also learned that of the 17 ventilators at Lahore’s Services Hospital, seven were out-of-order, which meant that a large number of patients requiring intensive care were suffering and were forced to use the urgent alternate of an ‘ambu bag’, which is used in medical emergencies by rescue workers to help a patient breathe.

It was also reported that only three ventilators at the Children Ward ICU of Lahore’s Services Hospital were functional. The court has directed the Punjab chief secretary to probe the matter and submit a report within 10 days.

The CJP also learnt that a newborn baby was burnt due to the alleged negligence of doctors at Ganga Ram Hospital Lahore, which resulted in the subsequent amputation of his thumb and two fingers.

The director of Lahore’s children hospital has been directed to submit a detailed report on the matter within three days.

Published in Dawn, January 20th, 2017