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ISLAMABAD: The district administration has imposed Section 144 to stop illegal construction in villages located in the planned sectors of E-10 and D-11 and northern strip where the new general headquarters (GHQ) will be established.

Additional District Magistrate retired Capt Shoaib Ali imposed the ban with effect from February 13 which will remain in force for two months.

“It has come to my knowledge through CDA that the CDA has required [sic] land in sectors E-10 & D-11 and north area of GHQ comprising Sinari Sanduri and Mera Beri, Chauntra and compensation has been awarded to the affectees as per policy. Illegal construction has been reported by the CDA, in the said sectors,” stated a notification issued by the magistrate.

A couple of months ago, the CDA issued allotment letter for 293 acres, out of a total 1,000 acres to be handed over to the army for the new GHQ and other military offices.

The allotment was made following a meeting of the army and CDA officers held on Dec 19, 2017, which was chaired by Member Estate Khushal Khan.

The army had shelved its plan to move the GHQ from Rawalpindi to Islamabad in 2008-09 due to financial constraints and on the instruction of the then army chief, Ashfaq Pervaiz Kiyani.

CDA officials told Dawn that issues regarding an office complex to be built on 138 acres were also discussed at the Dec 19 meeting. The meeting was informed that a formal allotment letter could not be issued due to an outstanding annual ground rent of Rs84 million against the army.

“We have started file work to waive the annual ground rent as it was the CDA’s fault not to hand over the possession of the land to the army after its lease years ago. So, there is no justification for imposing the annual ground rent on the army,” the member estate had told Dawn after the meeting.

The meeting had been informed that 870 acres in Zone III to the north of E-10 and D-11 was allotted to the Defence Complex Islamabad (DCI) for the construction of an office complex for the GHQ, Joint Staff Headquarters and the Ministry of Defence.

The meeting was also told that a summary for the resettlement of local people had been submitted to the CDA board proposing the allocation of a new sector as H-16 would not be enough to accommodate them.

Sources in the CDA said the city managers were thinking about acquiring land in I-17 and H-17 for the resettlement of the locals.

Meanwhile, through another notification, the capital administration imposed Section 144 in Sihala to stop illegal construction there.

“It has come to my knowledge through station commander, HQ Rawalpindi Log Area, Rawalpindi that illegal civil construction of massive structure is being carried out within the area of POL Depot ASC Sihala Islamabad,” stated a letter issued by Assistant Commissioner Rural Dr Waqar Ali Khan. He said Section 144 had been imposed in the area for two months from February 14.

Published in Dawn, February 21st, 2018