PESHAWAR: The PTI government on Monday informed the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly that 6,693 kanals of land in reserved forests of Galiyat region in Abbottabad district had been retrieved from 196 illegal occupants.
During the question hour, minister for law and parliamentary affairs Sultan Mohammad Khan said 208 people illegally occupied 984.5 kanals in Galiyat’s reserved forests and that they had built schools, mosques and shops there.
He said some cases had been filed with the court of law on the matter.
The minister said the government had acquired the services of the Survey of Pakistan in 2015-16 to identify the occupied land in Galiyat region’s reserved forests.
He said some people had put up structures in reserved forests, which had been protected under the law.
Baber Saleem Swati from the panel of chairmen presided over the sitting in the absence of the speaker and deputy speaker.
Opposition calls list of land grabbers incomplete, accuses PTI’s Jahangir Tareen of occupying land
According to the list, some people had occupied over 200 kanals of land in reserved forests of Galiyat.
The minister said the provincial government was going to sign an agreement with the Survey of Pakistan to remove ambiguities from the documents of land revenue.
Pakistan Peoples Party MPA Nighat Yasmin Orakzai, who moved the question, complained that an incomplete list of land grabbers had been submitted to the house.
She accused senior PTI leader Jahangir Khan Tareen of occupying land in Galiyat’s reserved forests but complained that the government didn’t include his name in the list.
PML-N’s Sardar Aurangzeb Nalotha and Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal’s Inayatullah Khan expressed reservations about the list and termed it incomplete.
Mr Khan suggested the question be referred to the standing committee concerned for discussion.
After the treasury’s opposition, the question was put for vote, which was defeated.
Minister Sultan said the lawmakers should avoid giving hypothetical statements on the floor of the house.
He requested the chair to expunge the name of Jahangir Tareen from the assembly’s records. However, the chair ignored the minister’s request.
Earlier, the lawmakers were informed that the provincial government had handed over 11 technical and vocational training centres to the Pakistan Air Force and had paid over Rs1.98 billion since 2015-16.
Replying to a question moved by PPP MPA Nighat Orakzai, the law minister said the Technical Education and Vocational Testing Authority had signed several agreements with PAF and that Tevta board had approved the release of funds to the PAF.
He said the law department identified some legal flaws in agreements with the PAF, which were removed afterward.
The minister said the demand of skilled workers would increase in the backdrop of the China- Pakistan Economic Corridor project, so vocational training centres were handed over to the PAF.
The question regarding the occupation of Auqaf properties by several government departments was also referred to the house’s committee concerned.
Replying to another question, Mr Sultan said the provincial government had prioritised the Rashakai Special Economic Zone under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor.
He said the agreement had been signed during the prime minister’s visit to China, while work on $128 million project was likely to begin by the end of July.
Responding to a point of order, minister for communication and works Akbar Ayub Khan said Pakistan Navy’s divers had begun search operation in Tarbela Lake to retrieve the bodies of 26 missing people.
He said four bodies were retrieved when the boat capsized in the lake on July 3, while 26 people had gone missing.
The assembly passed three resolutions calling for the restoration of Internet and mobile service in merged tribal districts, establishment of a grid station in Barawal area of Upper Dir district, provision of facilities to persons with disabilities in health centres, educational institutions and other public places.
The government introduced the National Disaster Management (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) (Amendment) Bill, 2019.
The sitting was adjourned until 10am on Thursday.
Published in Dawn, July 16th, 2019