Army's Golf Courses Released in Senate
July 13: The latest craze of Pakistan’s military Generals
is to play Golf and convert State lands into Golf Courses all
over the country. Data released in the Parliament proves this
authorities have converted hundreds of acres of military farm
lands into golf courses for pleasure and leisure activities of
senior uniformed officials since 1999. These golf courses are
in addition to those made on Railway lands, especially in Lahore
where the cost was an unbelievable Rs 25 billion.
information about turning military farm lands into golf courses,
housing schemes and commercial projects since 1999 was brought
on public record in the Senate when Senator Rukhsana Zuberi asked
provided by the Defence Minister, Rao Sikander Iqbal, confirmed
that 307 acres of military farms lands were so converted.
minister embarrassingly did not reveal the maintenance cost of
each golf course and thousands of gallons of water used daily
to maintain the lush green grass for the Generals to tee off,
while people die of water shortages or drinking contaminated water
in various parts of the country.
Auditor General's reports have also identified similar undertakings
of the army for pleasure of senior officers. Information provided
by the Defence Ministry to the Senate showed that since 1999,
24.5 acres of military land was converted into golf course in
Attock. In Sargodha 60 acres of military land was converted into
a golf course.
Defence Minister also informed the House that army housing schemes
were launched on military farm lands on an area measuring 222
Senate was told that 36.96 acres of military dairy farm Chaklala
in Rawalpindi was converted into a housing scheme. In Lahore,
133.96 acres of land belonging to military dairy farms were converted
into housing schemes since 1999. In Sialkot, the authorities converted
51.2 acres of military dairy farm land into a housing society.
enough the shameful plunder of Pakistan's resources by the generals
does not stop here. The Defence Minister in response to a question
by senator Dr Nighat Agha said that the record pertaining to the
terms and conditions on which the Varan Bus Service was given
a terminal in the Cantonment Area of Rawalpindi on a land measuring
2.42 acres "was not available in the Military Estate Office
Defence Minister also told the Senate that Varan Bus Service,
owned by the daughter of Lt Gen (Retd) Hamid Gul, a self-proclaimed
ideologue of the Right, was causing environmental pollution in
the area for which no effective measures have been adopted by
the owners of the terminals.
to avoid accountability of such nature where the facts are revealed
before the public, the defence forces do not allow the democratic
system to flourish in Pakistan.
democracy flourishes, how would the generals justify the expenditure
of millions of rupees on golf courses to the public representatives
when millions are burdened by abject poverty and hundreds committing
suicides due to hopelessness.
the government run by Gen Musharraf has spent millions on leisure
and pleasure activities of the senior uniformed officials since
1999, their own Finance Minister admitted in the latest Economic
Survey that 50 million people, some 32 per cent of the population,
were living on just Rs848 per month or almost $14 per month.
when the poor babies in millions of households of Pakistan cry
for a piece of bread or a glass of milk, the Generals play golf
on the lush green lawns. The disparity is glaring and provocative.