The Anti-Corruption Establishment Faisalabad (ACE) recovered an acre of land belonging to the Punjab Forest Department. The property had been occupied by the brother-in-law of former Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) federal minister Abid Sher Ali.
The accused, identified as Qaiser Idrees, had constructed a dera and farm house on the land. An officer of ACE shared with The Express Tribune that a source had informed the anti-graft body that Abid Sher Ali’s family has allegedly illegally grabbed government land up to 10-12 acres. On closer inspection, it was revealed that ten acres had already been evacuated.
Further investigations unearthed that the family was still occupying five kanals and seven marlas where the dera had been built. At the same time, two kanals and a few marlas had been cordoned off by a rope.
The officer added that Chaudhry Sher Ali had transferred the land to his daughter’s name through a gift of a deed. ACE identified the land, while the district administration had it evacuated, the officer added. “The land has been handed over to the department,” he said. Efforts were made to contact Sher Ali for comments, but his number was not responding.
Newly-appointed DG ACE Gohar Nafees, in an unprecedented move, initiated a crackdown against land-grabbers and illegal housing societies.
A few weeks back, ACE Sahiwal had recovered around 36 kanals of government land in Sahiwal which was illegally occupied by the Ittefaq Sugar Mills, a factory owned by the family of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, for the last 37 years. Sharif’s family has denied ownership of the property. The revenue department estimated the value of the land at Rs22.5 million and it was allegedly illegally possessed by the family since 1982.