Save the capital


Capital Development Authority (CDA), one of the most prestigious public sector organizations in the country, is again in news for mismanagement and bungling in the allotment of expensive plots. CDA was established in 1960 to build the national capital befitting the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. A capital city is always more than physical infrastructure, that is, roads and building. It should have recreational facilities, parks and play grounds and civic amenities, schools and hospitals for the residents of the most important city in the country. Cultural dimension is also crucial for a national capital. Unfortunately, this development agency has miserably failed to build and maintain properly the national capital. The capital is divided into elite zones, where the rich and the powerful people live, and areas where underprivileged live and suffer. Most of the budget and resources of the authority are reserved for elite sectors.
From a simple city, Islamabad has become a complex city where residing, working and travelling is becoming difficult with passage of time. The basic necessity, clean drinking water is beyond the reach of residents in certain areas. Zone V is the most neglected part of the capital. Majority of the population is having hard time in Islamabad.
There could be many reasons for this state of affairs. One of them is that the authority never got a committed and professional management. It has always been treated like any other government organization: bureaucrats running it whimsically. The policies and practices of these Babus have turned most of the capital into ghettos.
There was a chairman in 1980s that was very generous in doling out plots to his friends. He is known for calling even junior officials in the secretariat to apply for a plot. Such CDA bosses have played havoc with CDA assets and the Master Plan.
Since there is no accountability mechanism in place, the CDA bosses have mutilated the face of the capital. It used to be a beautiful town, now it has become an ugly spot. If media was also sleeping, they would have turned Islamabad into a great slum. There should be a competent forum to select the chairman CDA.
In the meanwhile, Member Planning Commission, Lt General Shahid Niaz, who is a former Engineer-in-Chief of the Pak Army and Head of FWO, may be given the charge of the authority. I am sure he can save the capital from complete destruction.


  1. A Lt Gen as head of CDA will do no good for Islamabad, which is a victim of the greed of serving and retired civil and khaki bureaucracy. Both CDA and DHA Islamabad suffer from this greed based cancer that has detroyed the scenic beauty of Islamabad.

  2. More than half the plots in Islamabad have been allotted not to the hard working loyal expatriates holding Pakistani nationality alone, who remit their savings to Pakistan, but the corrupt dual nationality holding civil, khaki bureaucrats, the land mafia guys and political merchants, who are involved in transferring ill-gotten money to foreign bank accounts. Even DHA Valley Islamabad has ripped off thousands of innocent expats of their hard earned savings. CDA should be serving the people who choose to live and die in Pakistan, instead of being a tool in hands of the corrupt bureaucracy of this country. A Lt Gen as head of CDA would be as bad a choice as the present chairman.

    • I know Gen Shahid Niaz, personally ,he was my course mate at the National Defence College ( now university). in the millenium course. He is an honest and capable general officer. He will be a better choice for CDA as an interim arrangement. Very few people know that Brig Yahya was the founding Chairman of CDA. Only Army can save the Capital.

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