THE RISE OF LAND MAFIAS IN NAYA PAKISTAN

(Syed Fawad Ali Shah, )

Due to failure of the government to effectively check the corruption of provincial revenue department; revenue record tampering, bogus mutations have resulted in increasing law and order situation on one hand and on the other hand, have increased pressure on the civil courts which till date have failed to deliver through dispensation of justice.

The above state of affairs has paved way for land mafias to flourish their businesses through illegal dispossession depriving the masses of their properties which is not possible without abetment of local police and revenue department staff. The citizens of Pakistan are thus deprived of their fundamental right of property retention and upon resistance, their right to life, evading the concept of welfare state.

One prominent land mafia is Maulana Taj Ul Amin Jabal; an ex- parliamentarian of the JamiatUlema-e-Islam (F) who at the time of contesting the 2002 election from a constituency in District Mardan refused to accept a police constable for security purpose due to running his election campaign on a bicycle.

MaulanaJabaltoday is the owner of billions of rupees which he has minted from people in District Mardan and Nowshera through illegal occupation of lands from the rightful owners and its subsequent sale to the masses. He has registered a company on the name of Gate row Developers Private Limited in the Security and Exchange Commission of Pakistan through his representatives namely Fazle Akbar, Amjad Nawaz, Ibrahim etc. for illegal occupation of land in village Khorabanda and Roriya situated on Canal road Mardan. He is advertising the grabbed land on www.Zemeen.com on the name of Zarak Garden Colony Mardanfor minting money from the poor people.The catch for the people in the fake scheme is the lower price of plot than the market price.

Despite confirmation of illegal occupation of land the local patwaris and Girdawars in their reports submitted to the Commissioner Mardan Division, and Additional District and Session Judge, system has miserably failed to deliver justice to the rightful owners of land and the people giving their savings to the land grabbers for the purchase of plots.
The Tehsil Municipal Administration Mardan and Session Court Mardan has issued notice to the company for stoppage of developmental works and sale of property in the society in response to which the grabbers have issued legal notice to the rightful owners of the land for damages suit.

Furthermore, Mr. Captain (R) Iftikhar Khan; a DIG retired from Khyber Pakhtukhwa Police, who is revered by the police department for his professionalism, competence and integrity is being deprived by the same group from his inherited property in village AzakhelBala district Nowshera. The land mafia are developing a housing society on the name of Park View City, Main GT Road Nowshera on the forcefully occupied lands. Reportedly the forcefully occupied land has been sold to a party from district Dir who intends to develop the scheme without ascertaining its ownership.

The land grabbers have erected walls around his property, establishing road networks and constructing house in his property. Maps have been drawn on his land and is being sold to different parties. The revenue department staff and local police are seen pleading the case of the land grabbers against the rightful owners.

Despite presence of all state institutions with mandate fail to decide on the issue of land mafias. Unfortunately, all of them are working in isolation without devising a joint strategy for doing away with this menace. The land record computerization which was reckoned by people as a tool to bridle the unchallenged powers of the land revenue staff was started in 2007 has not yet been finalized. No civil court or appellate court till date has ordered for initiation of criminal proceedings against the land revenue staff involved in the land record tampering and using other tools for the land mafias depriving the noble people of their legitimate assets.

The police department due to its limited scope to act in land disputes under section 145 of the CRPC finds it convenient to flank the land mafias. The same is true for the anti-corruption establishments of the province which could not complete even basic verifications in complaints filed and a word aunty corruption has been coined for them. NAB term these land grabbers cases beyond its assigned mandate. Probably the provincial government is giving a clear signal on this score to the noble people to wait for Imam Mahdi who would restore the system.

Keeping the above in view, it is established that the state of Pakistan due to inefficiency of the government machinery has miserably failed to protect the fundamental right of property of the people of Pakistan. The dream of Naya Pakistan would remain a myth if corrective measures are not timely taken.

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