Operation against Pakistan Observer remains a mystery

CDA high-ups unaware, embarrassed at targeted action, inquiry ordered

Zubair Qureshi

Islamabad

Who ordered Tuesday’s operation against Pakistan Observer and at whose behest it was carried out in unusual haste remained a mystery as senior officers of CDA were seen on Thursday passing the buck to one another when the same question was asked.
An inquiry has been ordered into the whole drama, confirmed sources while talking to Pakistan Observer adding the malafide of the action was obvious as no other shed was removed from the nearby properties, restaurants and car showrooms. Even not a single inch of the grabbed land was vacated. Pakistan Observer was the hit list of the land mafia for the last few months as it has been drawing the CDA’s attention towards sprawling encroachment and grabbed footpaths. These stories had upset the nexus of influential mafia and the CDA officials protecting that mafia, the sources further said. Tuesday’s operation was in fact a message for Pakistan Observer to keep quiet or it might face more such operations, they added.
The authorities’ silence on the other hand, on the brazen use of force against the oldest newspaper of Islamabad is simply deafening. As a result of the action, the workers and staff of the Daily who have to work till late hours feel themselves exposed to threats in the absence of protective fence, sheds and the necessary equipment CDA Enforcement Directorate turned into scrap.
According to those who have been living in the Markaz G-8 for decades, the “Markaz” had never been a hub of car/auto markets nor was ever meant to be. According to the Master Plan of the Markaz G-8, markets were established to cater for the daily needs of the residents living in the sub-sectors like G-8/1, 2, and 3 and for the attendants of the patients admitted in the PIMS located across the road. It again goes to the credit of the CDA that approved use of the market as showrooms plazas and brought the owners into the Markaz, said a senior resident of the Markaz G-8, Ramzan Masih.
Scarcely, we find a space on the footpaths to walk, he said as the car showroom owners have occupied entire footpaths leaving little room for the pedestrians.
Even those who have purchased properties worth millions of rupees cannot park their cars as the showroom mafia makes it simply impossible for them. It is Pakistan Observer that for the first time stood up for the cause of the residents and launched a campaign against the encroachers.
This is what the newspaper has to pay for, however, the management of the newspaper has made it clear that the paper cannot be cowed down nor influenced by any quarter from raising its voice in the interests of the people, particularly those affected by land mafias.

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