Issue No 67, Nov 16-22, 2003 | ISSN:1684-2057 |


Complete Story


Who Owns the Outlandish 40-Kanal Chak Shahzad Land in Islamabad?

Special SAT Report

ISLAMABAD: Guess who is going to be the next door neighbor of Nawaz Sharif’s infamous persecution Czar, Saifur Rehman of Ehtesaab (Accountability) Bureau?

SA Tribune has gathered some clues and soon all names and details will be made public. But for the time being it would be enough to say that the land next door to Saifur Rehman’s Chak Shahzad Plot, the fast developing elite sector of Islamabad, has been acquired by a many starred General, one who is really powerful and who is in the center of current show.

Our sources say a 40-Kanal plot of land has been taken over by this latest addition to the long list of land grabbers in the Capital of Pakistan. Why the land belongs to a General is evident from a visit on the spot. Military bulldozers, excavators, land diggers and levelers are working over time to make this piece of land the prime residence of this top star uniformed man who, like previous rulers of the country, does not want to stay homeless when out of job.

Witnesses have seen a Range Rover coming over to the site of the on-going work in progress many a time in the evenings and the vehicle is always properly guarded and fully camouflaged not to reveal the identity of the owners who seem excited about their choice of land and designs of their new palace.

The price of the land is said to be close to Rs 30 million in the open market but what under-invoiced rate has been paid by the owner of this plot, if any, is yet to be disclosed. Certainly it would be something close to the declared value of Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz’s Manhattan Pent House in the posh UN Plaza Building. Just to recall, Mr. Aziz declared to the Election Commission that his Pent House was valued to US$175,000 when the real worth of such a prized property is over $10 million. But who is asking?

The Frontier Works Organization (FWO) is said to be busy in this new Chak Shahzad piece of land in a hurry because the owners are not sure whether the palace they want to build on this huge monstrosity would ever get completed before this present government gets thrown out of power. So like all previous power wielders, the present ones are using, and misusing, all state resources to complete their new residence, an impressive one to show that it belongs to someone in power now and, someone who had been in power, when ousted.

Attention is, however, going to get focused on this new project in Islamabad as something this big in the center of the capital cannot stay hidden. Questions are being prepared for the Parliament to seek information, though everyone believes and understands, that no such information would be forthcoming, at least until the present lot of Generals stays in power.

But the record has to be kept and a gazette maintained, like it was done in the previous governments. Accountability will begin when these people yield power and then it would be seen whether they acquired the property legally or they grabbed it using the power of their gun.

Yet the one undeniable conclusion which can be drawn even now is that the present lot of rulers, uniformed and in civvies, are no different than the previous ones accused of gross corruption. They are doing exactly what they have been accusing others of doing and persecuting them. So logically, when the scene changes, the present looters and plunderers will have to face the same music.

The only difference is that because they have not learnt any lessons from the misdeeds of the past rulers, as is evident from their deeds now, the level of punishment and prosecution will have to be increased manifold and some examples will have to be made to deter others. It is just possible that the owners of the new plot of land in Chak Shahzad will be the ones who become the prime examples in the not too distant a future.

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