ISLAMABAD: Deputy Commissioner Hamza Shafqaat denied the allegation of facilitating a nephew of Prime Minister Imran Khan in ‘forcibly’ acquiring private land adjacent to the premier’s residence in Banigala.

The deputy commissioner submitted a written reply to the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on a petition filed by Azmatullah and Mohammad Umar Gondal against ‘forced’ acquisition of their 14 kanals by Shahraz Azeem Khan, the nephew of the prime minister.

According to the petition, the district administration applied pressure tactics to force the petitioners to sell their land to Shahraz Khan.

The petition said the district magistrate and the assistant commissioner rural not only stopped the construction of their farmhouse in Mohra Noor but also warned them of stern action if the land was not sold to the PM’s nephew.

But the DC informed the IHC that the construction work was stopped since the petitioners had started it without obtaining the mandatory approval from the Capital Development Authority (CDA).

“The petitioners were legally bound to abide by the relevant rules and to get the plan of construction approved by the CDA before starting work. They, however, did not accomplish the prerequisite legal formalities and started the construction work unlawfully.”

He also denied meeting the petitioners and said neither he nor the assistant commissioner rural ever met them. The DC contended that he reserved the right to get a criminal case registered against the petitioners for stigmatising him.

Published in Dawn, February 23rd, 2021

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