ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Cabinet Secretariat on Wednesday opposed the selling of properties abandoned by Bengalis and proposed that these properties be given to the people of erstwhile East Pakistan who chose to retain Pakistani nationality even after the 1971 fiasco.
The properties, now under the control of Abandoned Property Organisation (APO), were left behind by Bengalis who gave up their Pakistani nationality and moved to Bangladesh after its creation.
The committee has already recommended that these abandoned properties should be given to those people who opted to retain Pakistani nationality and abandoned their properties in what was then East Pakistan.
The committee’s meeting was held on Wednesday under the chairpersonship of MNA Kishwar Zehra.
The meeting opposed the closure of APO and it was unanimous in its view that instead of closing down the organisation and selling the abandoned properties, these should be given to the people affected by the 1971 debacle.
The committee decided to pursue the issue with the Cabinet Committee on Institutional Reforms which is overseeing the process of winding up of the APO.
In its previous meetings, the committee had suggested forensic audit of the APO to unearth alleged mismanagement and misappropriation in the organisation after its establishment.
Published in Dawn, January 14th, 2021