IT was a rude shock to watch advertisements related to Fazaia housing scheme in Lahore on television networks, merchandising real estate units as usual to the unsuspecting public at large.

Thousands of Karachi investors and overseas diaspora are currently in the process of receiving their swindled money from Fazaia housing scheme Karachi after being deprived of their lifetime investments for over five years.

This became possible owing to a Sindh High Court (SHC) settlement, allowing the refund of only the regular instalments through the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), Karachi. Billions of rupees of the investors have been devoured by the scheme with sheer impunity.

The registration amount, no-objection certificate (NOC), transfer charges, and, above all, any profit for retaining the investments for over five years have been arbitrarily usurped by the housing scheme.

The announcement of a new housing venture in Lahore is, therefore, adding insult to injury to the victims in Karachi. It is also tantamount to making a mockery of the regulatory authorities in our country which fail to stop such venal activities before the damage is caused.

I request the chief justice of Pakistan to take a suo motu notice and put a ban on the said housing scheme from taking up commercial housing projects anywhere in Pakistan as a generous bailout has been given to it by the SHC at the cost of hapless people.

Elie Wiesel rightly said: “There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.”

Haroon Rashid Siddiqi

Karachi

Published in Dawn, January 9th, 2021

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