BAHAWALPUR: A large number of Cholistani people, including women, staged a demonstration outside the, South Punjab Secretariat in Bahawalpur to demand possession of their land purchased from the Abbasi family’s members.

The demonstration was held on occasion of the meeting of an implementation committee, headed by former judge high court Faqir Muhammad, set up by the States and Frontiers Regions (SAFRON) of Interior Ministry regarding the distribution of the property of the late Nawab of Bahawalpur. The committee held its session in the South Punjab Secretariat to hear the complaints of the Abbasi family members.

The protesters were holding banners and panaflexes to highlight their demands. They said their elders had purchased the land from the members of the Nawab’s heirs from time to time in the royal Shikargah. They said they had converted the barren land into agriculture land and they were settled there for about three decades; however, now they had been abruptly evicted from their land without any reason.

The demonstrators alleged their land and houses were bulldosed when their village was evacuated. They said that they had been informed that the land would be given to the descendents of the late Nawab of Bahawalpur. They further claimed that courts had also granted them stay. They claimed that they had the documents of these lands with them and wanted to submit these documents to the committee.

The demonstrators said that after the demonstration, the committee chairman received documents from the them with a direction that all the affected persons should submit their version along with relevant records within three days.

Published in Dawn, February 27th, 2024

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