RAWALPINDI: The Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) has issued a notice to Awami Muslim League (AML) president Sheikh Rashid Ahmed to vacate land and rooms adjacent to his Lal Haveli residence within seven days.

In its notice, the ETPB said former interior minister Sheikh Rashid and his brother Sheikh Sadeeq had lost the ‘legal possession’ of the property as they neither responded to the authority’s notice nor paid the arrears of rent.

The ETPB administration also warned that it would use the police force to get the property vacated in case of non-compliance within seven days.

An ETPB official said the land adjacent to Lal Haveli was being used as servant quarters.

Nephew says government using unfair tactics ahead of PTI march

Lal Haveli is the political office of Sheikh Rashid. It’s an old building at Bohar Bazaar, Rawalpindi. The building was the property of Hindu woman before the partition but converted into political office in 1980 after Sheikh Rashid entered parliamentary politics.

Talking to Dawn, Sheikh Shafique, PTI MNA and nephew of Mr Rashid, said: “We have not received the notice yet and come to know about this through media. The PML-N government is using unfair tactics ahead of PTI long march to Islamabad.”

He said there was no issue with the five-marla Lal Haveli as it was registered on the name of Mr Rashid’s younger brother Sheikh Sadeeq. “However, there was an issue with seven units adjacent to Lal Haveli and a temple on which the ETPB had in 2012 given a verdict in our favour,” he claimed.

Mr Shafique said the ETPB had cancelled the lease agreement and Sheikh Rashid contacted the board to give him that property on lease and the case had been decided in 2019.

He said the property was not part of Lal Haveli but adjacent to it. However, he said, the possession of the property had been with the former interior minister since 1993. “We were ready to pay one year’s dues, but the ETPB was using delaying tactics and reopened the case after 10 years.

He said the case was pending with the district and sessions court and the notice to vacate the land was unjustified and violation of court orders. “We will contact the courts on Monday against the notice issued by ETPB,” he said.

On the other hand, an ETPB senior official told Dawn that the notice had been issued to vacate the land illegally occupied by the former federal minister adjacent to his Lal Haveli.

He said the seven units adjacent to Lal Haveli were on lease to seven different tenants, but Sheikh Rashid used it as part of his Lal Haveli residence.

He said the 140 square feet room was being used as kitchen of Lal Haveli and the area measuring nine metres and 84 square feet was being used as the rooms for security guards of the former federal minister. The ETPB gave this property to Wilayat Jan, widow of Ayub Shah.

The official said that as per the law, the tenants had no authority to sub-let the leased property or change the original structure. He said the ETPB took the action on violation.

Published in Dawn, October 17th, 2022

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