ISLAMABAD: Justice Tariq Mehmood Jahangiri of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday issued notices to the nephew of Prime Minister Imran Khan, assistant commissioner (rural), the district magistrate and Banigala SHO on a petition filed against ‘forced’ acquisition of petitioners land.

The petitioners Azmatullah and Mohammad Umar Gondal filed the petition through their counsel Raja Rizwan Abbasi and Danish Abbasi.

The petition stated that petitioners purchased land measuring 30 kanals in Mohra Noor Islamabad which is adjacent to the land of Prime Minister Imran Khan.

It said that out of 30 kanals, they have sold 16 kanals while 14 kanals of land was in their possession.

According to the petition, the petitioners started landscaping and designed the land to convert it into orchard, labourers were also hired for this purpose. However, the assistant commissioner (rural) and SHO Banigala stopped them from construction.

When the petitioners approached the district magistrate (deputy commissioner) and others, they were told that Shahraz Azeem Khan, nephew of Prime Minister Imran Khan, is interested in buying their land and advised the petitioner that “it is better for them to sell this land” to PM’s nephew.

The petition contended that the district administration and the Banigala SHO “gave a self-style advice to petitioners to sell this property” in favour of Shahraz Azeem Khan at lucrative price and informed them that since this property is adjacent to the property of the prime minister and one of the respondents Shahraz Khan is the nephew of Imran Khan, “thus it is better for them to get rid of this piece of land adding that the deputy commissioner, AC rural and SHO Banigala also extended threats to the petitioners that they would never allow them to carry out any kind of activity in the land because of influence of some superior quarters.

It said that the petitioners were called by deputy commissioner when they reached his office, he arranged their telephonic conversation with PM’s nephew. The petitioners claimed that Shahraz Khan categorically asked them to sell their land or face consequences.

As per the petition, the district administration threatened the petitioners they would be placed in fourth schedule of Anti Terrorism Act or they would be jailed under Section 3 of the Maintenance of Public Order and when they will come out of prison, their property would be occupied and they would never be compensated.

According to the petition, under Article 23 of the constitution any citizen has right to hold or dispose of his property.

The petitioners requested the court to declare the forced acquisition of their lawful land as illegal and restrain the district administration and police from interfering into this matter.

Published in Dawn, February 18th, 2021

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