No plan to demolish Sharifs’ residence, says Akbar

Published April 17, 2021
Adviser to Prime Minister on Accountability and Interior Shahzad Akbar addresses a press conference in Islamabad. — APP/File
Adviser to Prime Minister on Accountability and Interior Shahzad Akbar addresses a press conference in Islamabad. — APP/File

LAHORE: Adviser to Prime Minister on Accountability and Interior Shahzad Akbar on Friday cleared mist prevailing over alleged action against the Sharif family’s palatial residence in Jati Umra saying the containers on Raiwind Road had nothing to do with demolition of the residence.

The PML-N media wing spread commotion despite the fact that it also went to a civil court and obtained a stay order leaving the government not to plan any on-ground operation. “A due process will be followed and until then the PML-N leadership should take anti-depressants and don’t get panicked after seeing police or containers,” Mr Akbar said.

The PM’s adviser explained to media persons at a press conference at chief minister’s secretariat that 839-kanal state land was transferred through a forged letter and the revenue department had cancelled the transfer of land as there was no record available in the record. He said the government had 839 kanal of land as per Record of Rights in 1966-67 at Mauza Manak (now popularly known as Jati Umra) but now it did not own a single marla.

As the revenue department started scrutinising the record, it found that the state land was transferred to Waheeda Begum, Muhammad Ali and another person in 1989, 1992 and 1994 on the orders of a deputy secretary of the revenue department. However, the department had now reported in writing that neither any record of the deputy secretary order nor was relevant record available. The revenue department also stated that no state land could be transferred to any individual.

Eventually, Mr Akbar said, the revenue department wrote to the district administration that revenue record should be rectified and Punjab government land be restored. Since all the land record had been computerised, he said, the Punjab government’s land was reverted to it. Though there was no action planned after the Sharif family members obtained stay orders, the PML-N spokespersons held a press conference and later tried to create commotion that the government was going to attack the Jati Umra residence. “Due legal process will be followed,” he assured.

“No one is saying that the Sharif family got the land transferred in its name through a forged or illegal manner but the issue is that the family bought the land from a private party that sold a defective title,” he said and added that the Sharif family should either contact the private party (Waheeda Begum’s heirs) or the district administration with regard to their claim.

Since the land was transferred to Waheeda Begum in 1989, the government would also look into the matter whether there was any misuse of authority as convicted and runaway Nawaz Sharif was the then Punjab chief minister.

Answering a question, Mr Akbar asserted that Mauza Manak land belonged to the state and its transfer to private parties had been cancelled in a similar way the Punjab government was retrieving state land from illegal occupants. He said the government departments were doing quality investigation and contesting cases in courts to recover the state land.

About Shehbaz Sharif’s bail, the PM’s adviser said the judges would soon be appointed and Mr Sharif’s trial would begin yet again.

Published in Dawn, April 17th, 2021

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