The story of agro-plots and Pakistani presidential polls 2


JUI spokesman denies any hidden deal between Zardari and Fazl on presidential poll

 

By Ansar Abbasi

ISLAMABAD: Dubious circumstances surround the almost sure allotment of four agro farms here reportedly to some men belonging to the Maulana Fazlur Rehman-led Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F).

Though a JUI-F spokesman denies this, official sources confirm that the Capital Development Authority (CDA) is under tremendous pressure to make allotment of the high-priced four agro-plots to an affectee, who is said to have already sold his rights to some of the JUI-F men. The Allotment Scrutiny Committee of the CDA met last week to recommend the allotment of the four agro-plots in a case known as ىFazla son of Bana caseî, which was otherwise pending for well over a decade.

The CDA top management was asked to immediately proceed on the case and make the allotments. A source suggested that this allotment of the agro-farms, each measuring 2.5 acres (20 kanals), could be part of a deal between the PPP and the JUI-F for the latter’s support to Asif Ali Zardari in the September 6 presidential elections.

However, JUI-F Information Secretary Maulana Amjad denied this, arguing that this was all disinformation. He said the history of the JUI showed that the party had always pursued politics based on principles.

Denying that there was any hidden deal struck between Zardari and Fazl on the presidential elections, the JUI-F spokesman said the past track record of the Jamiat proved that the party had never been engaged in such things.

PPP spokesperson Farhatullah Babar was not available on his mobile phone despite repeated efforts for seeking his comments. Another PPP spokesperson, Farzana Raja, when contacted denied that there was any hidden deal struck between the PPP and any of its allies for the presidential election. “It’s all speculation,” she said, adding that democratic forces of the country had voted for Zardari to save the federation.

On the files, there is no mention of the “influential” beneficiary but the CDA officials admitted on the condition of anonymity that they were under pressure to make the allotment in the Fazla case at the earliest.

This is a case of an Islamabad affectee, whose 440 kanals of land was acquired by the CDA in 1973 from three different sectors (Moza) of the capital city. On every 100 kanal acquired by the CDA, an affectee is entitled to one agro-plot of 2.5 acres in Islamabad. However, for ordinary souls, it has become an impossible feat to achieve.

There are said to be 58 pending applications of such affectees before the CDA for the allotment of agro-plots. Besides most of others, Fazla s/o Bana also could not get the agro-farm since long because of the usual hiccups which the CDA created in normal cases.

Many of the affectees, out of their desperation because of non-allotment of the agro-plots, sell their rights to influential interested parties, which by using their connections and influence get this allotment done. This case of the four agro-plots is said to have been bought by a JUI-F influential, who succeeded to put pressure on the CDA to do the needful without any further waste of time. The CDA, the sources said, received special instructions to immediately make allotment of the four-agro plots in this case. Meeting of the Allotment Scrutiny Committee of the authority was convened immediately to recommend as per the dictates from the powerful and mighty that the four agro-plots be allotted to Fazla son of Bana.

Another affectee, Abdul Qayyum, who too is waiting for the allotment of his agro-plot for which he is fighting for over 15 years, said he had been clearly told by the CDA officials that he should hand over his acquired land on the Murree Road to the Authority for the reason that five agro-plots were to be allotted there. Qayyum said four of the agro-plots on his land were desired to be allotted to the JUI-F man while the fifth one was being earmarked for a PPP MNA.

The agro-plots in Islamabad are expensive but those locating on the Murree Road are extremely costly. Qayyum said he had been warned by the CDA officials off getting out of the way as those eyeing his land were extremely powerful.

He, however, insisted that it was his right to get the agro-plot on the land which was still in his custody. He said he had even got a favourable order from a high court but was still being denied his right.

Source: The News, 9/9/2008


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