83,000 kanals of precious state land recovered from land grabbers


ISLAMABAD: The anti-encroachment drive launched under the leadership of State Minister for Interior Shehryar Khan Afridi is going as planned and the authorities have been able to vacate 83,000 kanals of land in what are mostly posh areas of the country valuing around Rs1200 billion so far.

Well informed sources in the federal cabinet and Interior Ministry while talking to Pakistan Today said that the ministry had been successful in recovering an unprecedented area of state land encroached upon by powerful mafias.

“You can assess the success of the drive by the fact that over 50,000 kanals of land had been recovered in posh areas of the federal capital. This is an unprecedented success that has never been attained before,” a source in the interior ministry said.

The source informed that the success had been noticed by Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan himself and that the premier lauded the performance of Shehryar Afridi during a meeting of the federal cabinet.

The source further said that the campaign has entered a new phase as an operation to recover 11,000 kanals of Forest Land in Tumair, Lui Bher and Chirah suburbs of the federal capital was launched on Tuesday.



Speaking of the challenges in the anti-encroachment drive, the sources said that land grabbers had adopted traditional ploys to scuttle the anti-encroachment drive but the interior minister had defied all sorts of pressure tactics.

“The biggest challenge we faced was during operations in Korang Town, G-12 and E-11 sectors. The staff came under fire from the land grabbers and we got FIRs registered against the criminals,” an official in the ministry said.

He said that strong resistance was also witnessed during the operation against land grabbers in Bahria Enclave. However, the official said that the minister stood his ground and did not budge to any pressure tactics.

“Our strength has been the minister himself, who leads the operations from the front. Unlike the past ministers, Shehryar Afridi himself leads the operation. Whether it is an operation in the late hours of the night or whether it is during the day, the minister stands firm to face any challenge coming our way. His presence on the spot gives a new vigour to all the staff members,” the official said.

When asked to explain the pressure tactics, the official told that land grabbers had gotten stay orders from courts. “Not only were the stay orders sought, but land encroachers had also gotten contempt orders issued to help delay the operation. We adopted legal ways to counter these tactics,” the official added.

The official said that hundreds of the illegally constructed petrol pumps, wedding halls and other buildings have been demolished since the anti-encroachment drive was launched in the federal capital.

Thrilled by the successful campaign in the federal capital, PM Khan also directed chief ministers of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) to follow the suit and recover all the encroached land.