PML-N at odds over action against construction tycoon


The PML-N leadership is at odds over action against “construction tycoon and the famous head of a private housing society”, and a common friend of PML-N President Nawaz Sharif and President Asif Ali Zardari, due to his alleged involvement in a controversial issue of DHA bill Islamabad 2007.
The Sharifs seem to be very careful to unleash an opposition against the top builder, allegedly a land mafia, is behind the tabling of the DHA bill meant to oblige him being the single beneficiary in DHA land spreading over million of acres, even though there is consensus within the party on the issue. The situation has sparked infighting between the firebrands and moderators and the row is likely to create more fissures leading to formation of more groups.
“Volatile leaders argue to hit hard on the business tycoon firmly believing that sparing him will amount to sparing Zardari. Both are fast friends and the bill is a game of money,” a senior leader of the PML-N told Pakistan Today on Tuesday. The hotheads also believed that the ring leader of the land mafia often found in the Presidency had about 6,500 complaints pending against him in various courts, he said.
Meanwhile, moderators were of the view that it was better to block the passage of the bill instead of cursing the construction tycoon, adding that the focus should be on the bill which would undermine the control and regulation of the Punjab government on land as under the bill, the authority will have the power to get possession of any particular area whereas neither any compensation will be provided to the owner of the property nor he will be able to file an appeal against this excess.PML-N Information Secretary Mushahidullah said the PML-N had never talked about the business tycoon in the DHA bill issue. “At least in all the meetings he had attended, presided over by Nawaz Sharif, did not take up such issue,” he said, adding that the DHA bill Islamabad 2007 violated the constitution because it dealt with a matter concerning a provincial government.
Secondly, he said, the government should not give preferential treatment to a particular housing society The National Assembly Defence Committee member and PML-N legislator Sheikh Rohail Asghar said unless it was laid bare that the giant of the private housing society was a signatory in accord with DHA Islamabad, his name could not be spotlighted. However, he said the PML-N president was not friends with the construction tycoon. Recently at the floor of the National Assembly, Opposition Leader Nisar Ali Khan took the name of the construction tycoon, saying that the government should not give preferential treatment to a particular housing society as there were thousands of other such societies. Later at news conference, Nisar alleged that the bill was being approved only to benefit one person who had already occupied large pieces of land. He said the person was close to former president Pervez Musharraf and nowadays was frequently seen in the Presidency.
Nisar alleged that through the bill the government wanted to give complete control of over 178,000 kanals of land belonging to the people of his constituency to the DHA, where the federal and provincial governments would have no say. To a question, he said there was a need to revisit the laws under which similar societies had been set up in Karachi and Lahore. Later, the Punjab law minister also named the big gun of real estate. He told reporters that the proposed bill aimed to protect President Zardari’s blue-eyed friend. Rana Sanaullah said the housing sector was a provincial matter which could not be included in the legislation of the federal list. He said under the Defence Housing Authority Bill 2007, the scope of the authority would extend to Rawalpindi which would be a clear violation of the law and the constitution. Per the details available to Pakistan Today, the bill had been hanging in the air for almost seven years despite its approval by the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Defence. After holding the bill in the cold storage for 21 months, the government had brought it back on the agenda on October 13.


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