Peshawar: Some influential politicians and bureaucrats have been allotted plots in Dera Ismail Khan from a big portion of land allocated for retired military personnel. These plots have been marked as “For VIPs” in the site map.
The collector of D.I. Khan, Khan Bakhsh, showing his inability to make any comments on the case told that the entire record had been shifted to the revenue department in Peshawar.
Senior officials of the provincial revenue department confirmed the allotment of plots reserved for army personnel and civilians, but avoided disclosing their names.
The land was to be distributed amongst the veterans of the Kargil Conflict, the families of those who sacrificed their lives and other retired personnel in DI Khan. According to the formula, family of a martyr with Nishan-i-Haider was entitled to 400 kanals of land.
According to this, Captain Sher Khan and Hawaldar Lalik Jan had been allotted 400 kanals each in Rakh Grass, who were both awarded Nishan-i-Haider after the Kargil conflict.
According to the revenue department record, some civilians were also allotted 400 and 500 kanals.
Record shows that plots of 500 and 400 kanals in the military land were allotted in Khasra on Dec 23, 2004, without disclosing the names of the allottees and according to the sources, 3,000 kanals have been allotted to politicians and bureaucrats.
The provincial government handed over possession of 17,578 acres of state land to the army in 2002 for the rehabilitation of families of retired personnel.
The forest department had opposed the transfer of reserved forests to the military by Gen Iftikhar’s government as Rakh Grass had already been declared as a reserved forest.
Chief Minister Akram Khan Durrani had constituted a commission to look into the matter. But the government underwent a change and overlooked the matter.
Allotment of land to civilians was revealed when a lease contract was terminated and immediately handed over its possession to Haji Shahzada of Bannu district. It was learnt that Haji Shahzada and Maulvi Sharif acted as front-men.
Some retired army officers said civilians had been allotted lands in the area at prime locations. The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) did not respond even after several repeated attempts.
Asif Iqbal Daudzai, The NWFP Minister for Information and the Government’s chief spokesman said that a commission has been formed by the chief minister to look into the allotment of land to the military which is yet to submit its report to the cabinet.
On being asked what the government could do when the land has already been allotted, Mr Daudzai said the Government would implement the recommendations of the commission, whatever those might be.
He also denied that any land has been allocated to politicians.