Encroachments in Quaid-i-Azam University removed


ISLAMABAD: Some 180 kanals of Quaid-i-Azam University’s (QAU) land was retrieved from encroachers in a joint operation carried out by the Capital Development Authority (CDA), Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) administration, police and Rangers over the weekend.

The operation was done on repeated requests of the QAU administration, a press statement issued by the Islamabad District Magistrate said on Saturday.

The QAU had, through a public notice, informed the encroachers to vacate the university land on their own and the students had also staged protests for the purpose.

The operation was undertaken after demarcation of the university land by the Surveyor General of Pakistan and in this regard, several meetings were held between the QAU vice chancellor and CDA officials.

“In this operation, a total of 80 kanals built-up area was recovered by demolishing 12 houses, including three large houses, 15 structures, walls, quarters, library, cattle rooms and guest rooms,” the statement said. Moreover, an additional 100 kanals of open land was also retrieved and handed over to the QAU.

The statement said for the satisfaction of the locals, a joint demarcation would be conducted on the areas which were disputed and challenged by them through the QAU and the CDA staff assisted by the Revenue Office.

The operation was carried out completed over the weekend during heavy rainfall, so that academic activities at the university were not disturbed, it added.

Eminent educationist Pervez Hoodbhoy, who taught Physics at the QAU since 1973, in his article “QAU’s land is PTI’s litmus test” published in an English daily on December 29, 2018, also highlighted “the brazen takeover of Quaid-i-Azam University’s land by a powerful politician”.

He said, “The palace’s owner proudly identifies himself as former chairman of Senate and a member of the PPP. For a few short days during 2013, he had also been the acting president of Pakistan. Soon upon achieving that distinction, QAU authorities were summoned to his palace.”

“Thereafter, a hitherto unnamed road running across the campus suddenly acquired a signboard Nayyar Bukhari Road. But this was just the beginning. Dozens of smaller houses have since sprouted.  Said to be built by the palace owner’s relatives, they have been sold onwards,” Hoodbhoy wrote.