ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development joined the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) administration in an operation to retrieve 102 kanals in Valley Zone V belonging to the Overseas Pakistanis Foundation (OPF) that had been occupied since 1999.
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Overseas Pakistanis Syed Zulfikar Bukhari supervised the operation alongside Deputy Commissioner Hamza Shafqaat.
Mr Bukhari told the press: “The writ of the state will be established at all costs and those involved in grabbing land belonging to Pakistani expatriates will be taken to task as per law.”
He added: “We will not tolerate such an illegal activity and in this regard measures are being taken to avoid reoccupation of the state’s land by the mafia.”
Mr Bukhari said a boundary wall will be constructed around the valley and police pickets will be set up as well. The concerned ministry will also ensure that the area is monitored so it cannot be occupied again.
According to a ministry spokesperson, the valley, spread over 5,000 kanals, was approved in 1999 and 90pc of the allotments have already been made.
The retrieved land will also be allotted to overseas Pakistanis based on merit.
Mr Bukhari told this agency that Pakistani
expatriates were constantly raising the issue of their occupied property in the country, and complaints statistics had also shown that this was a major issue facing expats.
In this regard, he said the ministry is planning to set up a fast-track court in the capital to retrieve expatriates’ property from land grabbers. The court aims to provide instant relief to litigants, as the number of such cases is gradually increasing.
“Accordingly, a summary has been submitted to the Ministry of Law and Justice to materialise the initiative during the current year,” he said.
The special court will be designed to ensure the disposal of cases within a month after the admittance of petitions, he said, adding that it will be established after the necessary legislation with full constitutional cover.
Mr Bukhari said both ministries will meet next week to discuss the technical and legal issues facing overseas Pakistanis in the prevailing judicial system and the setting up of the aforementioned court.
The establishment of the court will serve as a pilot project, on the basis of which similar courts would then be set up in other cities, he said