ISLAMABAD: After the Capital Development Authority (CDA) confirmed encroachment by PTI Senator Aurangzeb Khan Orakzai on a state land, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) directed action against officials responsible for allotting the land to the lawmaker for private use.

IHC Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani while disposing of a petition against alleged encroachment by Senator Orakzai directed the collector Islamabad to demarcate the area. The CDA chairman was also directed to initiate an inquiry against officers responsible for allotting state land to Mr Orakzai.

During the last hearing on August 21, Justice Kayani had observed that the matter should be investigated by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

Senator Orakzai apprised the court that the land was allotted to him for plantation. He said he had planted trees on the land in order to comply with the prime minister’s directions to increase greenery, calling it a part of the 10 Billion Tree Tsunami Initiative.

However, the CDA in its report submitted to the court pointed out a number of violations and misuse of the land.

The report said the senator constructed an illegal pond with a passage of stairs from his house to it which have been demolished.

It said Mr Orakzai also “occupied another access/link road from Mouza Geenjian side on which an entrance gate with barbed wire fence and a retaining wall were constructed by him illegally. He [Orakzai] contended that passage has been constructed on his owned private land falling in Mouza Mohra Noor. In order to ascertain the factual position, Tehsildar CDA was requested to demarcate the area…[he] has opined that requisite demarcation should have been conducted by Revenue Collector because demarcation of boundaries of two Mouzas is involved in this case.”

The CDA stated: “Accordingly, the additional deputy commissioner (revenue) has been approached…A joint revenue team comprising of the area magistrate, Tehsildar ICT, Naib Tehsildar CDA along with director enforcement CDA and deputy director environment CDA, director environment Municipal Corporation of Islamabad visited the site and demarcated the exact area which was illegally occupied by Respondent 10 [Senator Orakzai]. The same area has been retrieved from him.”

A similar report was also submitted by the MCI with an admission that the entire land was illegally occupied by respondent No 10, which has now been repossessed and the water reservoir destroyed.

The court noted that “these reports clearly spell out that the land was illegally occupied. However, the court disposed of the petition after the reports confirmed that the illegally allotted land had been retrieved.

Published in Dawn, September 20th, 2020