Naveed Aman Khan
RAWAL Dam was not only built to beautify Islamabad but to provide clean drinking water to Rawalpindi city and Cantonment area from its reservoir. Capital Development Authority and WAPDA acquired the adjacent land of Mozua Lakhwal so that water of lake, its adjacent area and its environment could be saved from pollution. It is unfortunate to say that Land Mafia in connivance of corrupt officials of Capital Development Authority, Islamabad Capital Territory Administration and Small Dams Organization has grabbed state land in this beautiful valley. Whole administrative and judicial system seems helpless. People who conceived this beautiful capital city must have not visualized that Qabza Mafia will spoil beauty of this beautiful city to the base of Margallah Hills.
The land of Rawal Dam was acquired by WAPDA in 1959. After its construction by WAPDA, the Dam was handed over to Small Dams Organization for operational use. As per record held with Revenue Department Rawalpindi, the total area of Mouza Lakhwal is 5925 Kanal and 9 Marla out of which 2921 kanal 02 marla was acquired by WAPDA. When Islamabad became capital in 1968, the remaining area of 2874 Kanal 9 Marla of Mouza Lakhwal was acquired by CDA. Afterward, Mouza Lakhwal was set “Closed” and its record was filed in office. Since then, no Patwari, Gardawar and Tehsildar has ever been appointed in this Mouza. No other party is legal owner of this Mouza except CDA and Small Dams Organization. As per Revenue Record and Jamabandi of 1971-72, the complete area of Mouza 5925 kanal 9 Marla was acquired and completely owned and occupied by CDA. Contrary to this, Land Mafia has occupied and encroached thousands of kanal of land with the help of revenue staff on forged documents. There is dire need to evict and dislodge land mafia from premises of Rawal lake and establish a recreational park like Fatima Jinnah Park besides Rawal lake as per Master Plan of CDA. This will help improve the environment of Islamabad, protect fauna and flaura as well as aquatic life of Rawal Dam. It will also ensure supply of clean water to the citizens of Rawalpindi city and the Cantonment.
On 26 October 1995, some illegal residents of Mouza Lakhwal namely Muhammad Yousaf and others filed a petition before Hon’ble Civil Judge, Islamabad and took a stance that they are the legal residents of Mouza Lakhwal. According to them, the total area of Mouza is 5925 Kanal 9 Marla as per Jamabandi of 1967-68. Out of which, CDA had acquired the area of 2874 Kanal 8 Marla through Award in1968. While the area of 2631 Kanal 16 Marla was acquired by Land Acquisition Collector, Rawalpindi in 1961 for construction of Rawal Dam. Total sum of both acquisitions comes to 5506 Kanal 4 Marla. An area of 419 Kanal 5 Marla in Mouza Lakhwal was left as un-acquired and they are the legal owners of this un-acquired land. The said land had come under the water of Rawal Dam. They were thus deprived of their legitimate rights to use it. They pleaded before Hon’ble Civil Judge that they may be provided relief and compensation for their loss. The plaintiffs filed a civil suit in the Hon’ble Court of Javed Iqbal Bosal.
This case was decided against the plaintiffs on September 29, 2003 wherein it was stated that the plaintiffs were unable to prove the un-acquired area of Mouza Lakhwal. As per Hon’ble Court’s decision, all area of Mouza Lakhwal had been acquired by Federal Government and its allied agencies. The plaintiffs were neither able to bring any proof of their ownership as claimed in plaint and suit nor produced the record of any Jamabandi subsequent to acquisition of land of Mouza Lakhwal in 1971-72. But even after the clear decision of the honourable courts 419 kanal land is grabbed by land mafia Jamil Abbasi who is selling this grabbed state land on very high price and has constructed illegal Marquee on this land thus polluting and poisoning Rawal Dam with its waist causing deaths of fish and other water creatures. Besides clear decision of the honourable courts to demolish encroached marquee CDA and other enforcement agencies are keeping quiet which is clear dishonour to the honourable courts.
In an another grab of Quaid-i-Azam University Islamabad land mafia has grabbed 4000 kanal land of the state for which honourable Vice Chancellor of the university has long been raising voice but all in vain. All this is being done under the nose of the government. Constitution of Pakistan and bylaws categorically provide safety and security of private as well as state land. If government land is being grabbed by land mafias in Islamabad what will be the situation of lawlessness about private lands of the people in other parts of the country. These land mafias not only grab land of the orphans and widows but those who are alive but unable to fight with these mafias. The Constitution and bylaws of Pakistan provide complete security to honour, life and property and don’t provide any leverage to vagabonds and such mafias.
Such lawlessness seen in the capital of Pakistan has encouraged land mafias in the entire country thus depriving the genuine owners of their properties. If properties of the Pakistani citizens are not safe how can lives and honours are assured. This is a matter of shame for the government that knowing every grab of the state land and land mafis it is malafidly keeping quiet. It is the obligation of every government to secure government as well as private properties by all means. Otherwise, I would draw attention of the honourable Chief Justice of Supreme Court of Pakistan to kindly make sure of the government malafide intentions. No one is above law and Constitution of Pakistan. Are these land mafias, their supporters and protectors not accountable to the honourable courts?
— The writer is political analyst based in Islamabad.