Rs35bn land allotment scam surfaces in Auqaf dept

Pakistan Today

–590 kanals of land across city illegally allotted to Auqaf officials at Re1 per marla

–ACE director says FIRs registered against accused officials, beneficiaries

LAHORE: A land allotment scam has surfaced in the Auqaf Department where as many as 590 kanals of land worth around Rs35 billion in different areas of Lahore was illegally handed over to the department officials, Pakistan Today has learnt.

According to sources in the Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) Lahore, the allotments were made at a rate of Re1 per marla and later transferred to other persons without adhering to relevant laws.

“The director estate (Punjab) of Auqaf Department along with other officials, including Auqaf Lahore zonal administrator, zonal superintendent, zonal manager and the staff of Lahore zone revenue department, has provided the physical verification of a mosque (Masjid Bahir Wali) located on Upper Mall and the mentioned piece of land was related to Hanjarwal,” they said.

Sources added that in 1988, the Auqaf Department had illegally allotted the land to its employees for residential purpose whereas, in 2004, the Supreme Court (SC) had cancelled the allotments. “But later, the Auqaf officials once again transferred it to other persons illegally.”

On the said land stretched at approximately 3 kanals and 11 marlas, plots numbers A-1, C-1, C-2 and E-2 are under the illegal possession of a person named Mian Pervez, they said.

“Plot A-1 is stretched on 30 marlas and allotted to the then deputy secretary of Auqaf, Mehmoodul Hassan, whereas plot C-1 is allotted to Rana Mushtaq, who was the manager of Auqaf and that plot was stretched on 16 marlas of land.”

Sources said that the third plot, E-2, with a total area of 9 marlas was allotted to Muhammad Aslam who was an electrician of the Auqaf whereas the fourth plot, C-2, was allotted to Muhammad Ali an SDO. “The fourth one has a total area of 16 marlas.”

They revealed that plot A-2 of 30 marlas was allotted to Raja Kaleemullah Khan and the land was illegally occupied by a person named Muhammad Fayyaz. Similarly, plot A-3 of 30 marlas has been allotted to Muhammad Bashir Malik who was a project director.

“Another plot A-4 with a size of 30 marlas was allotted to the medical superintendent of Data Darbar Hospital, Dr Qamarul Islam Lodhi and under the illegal possession of Khawaja Muhammad Akbar.”

Plot A-5 of 30 marlas is allotted to admin director of Auqaf Department Rana Zulafqar Khan but a person Mian Shahid was illegally living there.

In the B block of the society, plot B-1 with a size of 30 marlas is allotted to Auqaf secretary Irshadul Haq Kiyani and illegal boundary walls and 4 rooms have been constructed at the site. A private security guard has also been deputed.

Plot B-2 with a size of 25 marlas was allotted to Auqaf administrator Munir Ahmed Khan and the plot is located on the main service road of Upper Mall on Canal Road whereas two illegal rooms have been constructed on the plot and a CNG machine, as well as a generator, have also been discovered there.

“B-2 is under the illegal occupation of Muhammad Aslam Qadir Ali, Riaz and Ghulam Haider while their servant Riaz is living in the plot illegally.”

The plot B-3 with a size of 25 marlas was allotted to another official of Auqaf and currently, an illegal room and boundary wall have been constructed there whereas a watchman, Muhammad Sajid, is living in the plot for the past three years.

Another plot B-4 of 25 marlas was allotted to Chaudhry Subhan and Auqaf Administration Secretary Rana Zulafqar Ali is living there illegally.

Plot B-5 had been allotted to the late deputy director admin Malik Attaullah but presently Jameel Ather Qazi and his family were living there illegally.

Sources further added that in the C block, plot C-3 with a size of 16 marlas had been allotted to Abdul Majeed but now the plot was illegally occupied by Sajida and Nadra. Two other plots C-1 and C-2 were also under the illegal occupancy of Mian Pervez.

They said that in E block, plot number E-1 with a size of 9 marlas was allotted to Muhammad Aslam but now Mian Shahid was illegally occupying it. “One gate of the plot is on the service road of Upper Mall while the other one is in the colony.”

Sources further told this scribe that Mian Shahid had also grabbed plot F-1 that was allotted to Shamim Ahmed who was a muawin in Auqaf Department.

Speaking to Pakistan Today, ACE Director Asghar Joiya said they had registered two FIRs into the matter. “One is against Auqaf officials and the second against the beneficiaries. All these allotments were made by the Auqaf Department in contravention of the framed rules,” he said and confirmed that the total area of the land was around 590 kanals.

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