ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan is perturbed at non-enforcement of legal reforms effectively for the past three years, revealed the principal law officer of the country before the Islamabad High Court on Thursday.

Attorney General (AGP) Khalid Jawed Khan appeared before the IHC during the hearing of petitions relating to land disputes between citizens and government entities dealing with real estate projects and non-implementation of the Police Order 2002.

When IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah pointed out the government’s inability to keep a check on land mafia, AGP Khan expressed helplessness to curb the mafia.

The attorney general said the government had launched crackdown on petrol, sugar and chicken mafias, but to no avail. When the government challenges any powerful segment of society for any illegality, they start threatening to topple it, he said, adding that the government is striving to provide relief to the common man and is serious in its endeavour.

Justice Minallah asked the interior secretary about real estate venture of government entities. “When one goes to the motorway, there is a huge billboard of Supreme Court Employees Cooperative Housing Society,” he said, pointing out that the interior ministry is also running the housing society.

Islamabad Deputy Commissioner Hamza Shafqat said it was a cooperative society being managed by the employees of the interior ministry and the secretary had no nexus with this real estate project.

Justice Minallah snubbed him and said it was a glaring example of clash of interest. If the secretary had no nexus with this housing society, why didn’t he issue a public notice or proceeded against those using the name of the ministry without authorisation, he wondered.

The IHC chief justice named the Intelligence Bureau, the Federal Investigation Agency, the interior ministry and many others operating the real estate business and said that they, in connivance with police, encroached upon public land and the affected land owner ran from pillar to post to get compensation.

Justice Minallah asked Inspector General of Islamabad Ahsan Younas about implementation of the Police Order and lamented that the poorly trained officer knew nothing how to investigate crimes.

The court directed the interior secretary, the deputy commissioner and the ins­pector general of Islamabad to submit rep­orts on implementation of the Police Order and encroachment of hou­sing societies on private land and adjourned the hearing for four weeks.

Published in Dawn, December 31st, 2021

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