State minister vows to push ahead with anti-encroachment drive in Islamabad

Published September 26, 2018
CDA workers carry out anti-encroachment drive in Islamabad. — Photo/File
CDA workers carry out anti-encroachment drive in Islamabad. — Photo/File

Minister of State for Interior Shehryar Afridi on Wednesday vowed to rid the capital of "lawless" land grabbers, "in accordance with the vision of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf-led (PTI) government vision".

Speaking to the media in Islamabad today, Afridi said that the government had retrieved 33,000 kanals of land, that had been occupied by Bahria Enclave. Authorities had also recently cleared 10 kanals of land in Blue Area near the Centaurus Mall which was being used illegally as an office.

"They [the occupants] had asked for four kanals of land as a temporary office site," Afridi claimed. "After multiple intimations, they did not vacate the area."

Afridi added that the plot, which costs around Rs8-9 billion, had been forcibly vacated by the government.

"We are fulfilling all the legal formalities of the CDA (Capital Development Authority) and moving forward as a team," he said, adding that the government will continue its anti-encroachment drive and rid the capital of "land grabbers".

He also promised that the government would assist and facilitate the federating units in fighting the menace of land grabbing.

"We will walk hand in hand [with federating units] in joint ventures because we want to rid the country of this lawlessness; of this injustice that is done in the name of the state with the state and its poor people," he said.

"People who work hard to earn money to buy land don't know that the person who they are purchasing land from does not even own the land they're selling!" he regretted.

He further said that the land that has been recovered by the state will be used "for the benefit of the poor". He also promised to take "effective measures" to assist people who have been adversely affected by the anti-encroachment drive in any way possible "within legal parametres".

"It is the responsibility of the state to help affectees," he said.

He further said that though some quarters were spreading propaganda against the drive, the government will continue with its work as "it is only answerable to God".

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