LAHORE: The Punjab government has approved 2500 acres of government state land, which was allotted under the Army Welfare Scheme (AWS) to 47 civilian government officials for the families of martyred soldiers and veterans.

The allotment was made on the orders of former dictator General Pervez Musharraf on merit and in violation of the law, without legal approval, two people in the Chief Minister’s Secretariat confirmed on condition of anonymity.

According to sources in the Punjab Chief Minister’s Secretariat, the PML-N government had canceled the allotment, which was ordered by the former military dictator for alleged violation of government colonies during January 2004 and May 2008. Had given Land (Punjab) Act 1912 and Allotment Policy 19W formulated for AWS.

Following the cancellation order, the PML-N government also rejected several summaries submitted by former Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif for ratification. The Land Branch of GHQ had first approached the Punjab Government in April 2009 not to cancel the allotment.

The military was of the view that the allotment to government officials could be considered a “closed chapter” and offered to work on a future allotment procedure in consultation with the provincial government and the provincial board of revenue.

However, Mr. Sharif did not abide by it. Sources in the Chief Minister’s Secretariat said that about 837 acres of AWS land have been allotted to civilian officials in consultation with the provincial government. The land was allotted in Bahawalpur, Pakpattan, Khanewal, Sahiwal, Muzaffargarh, Bahawalnagar, Rahim Yar Khan, and Sadiqabad districts.

The former chief minister rejected another summary prepared by the Board of Revenue in February 2012, when the chief secretary noted that it did not make a significant contribution to the civil service and good governance as a whole. ۔

According to the latest summary approved by the Usman Bazdar government for resumption and ratification of the allotment, the Sharif government had canceled the allotment and withdrew the allotted land from the beneficial authorities in 2010.

The Sharif administration had said that those who had sold the land allotted to them should deposit the sale in the provincial treasury. The provincial officials who benefited from the GHQ’s decision were suspended while the case of the three DMG officers was referred to the Establishment Division. Apparently, the Establishment Division did not take any action against him.

Key beneficiaries include DMG officers, Sardar Ahmad Nawaz Sukhera (currently Federal Cabinet Division Secretary), Dr. Faisal Zahoor, and Syed Imtiaz Hussain Shah. Former PCS officials who benefited from the government’s decision include Mohammad Zahid Ikram, Sikandar Ali Bukhari, Syed Najaf Abbas Bokhari, Malik Mohammad Ramzan, Mohammad Ashraf Yousufi, Abdul Ghafoor Work, Dur Mohammad Khan, Irshad Mohi-ud-Din and Syed Zahid Hussain Jilani. , Muhammad. Ashfaq, Mohammad Akram Bhatti, Amir Karim Khan (currently CM Bazdar from PSO), Mushtaq Ahmed Anjum, and Mohammad Azam Khan. The rest of the officials were mostly district revenue officials.

The eight beneficiary officers then filed a petition in the Lahore High Court (LHC) against the Punjab government’s revocation order. In June 2013, the court directed the member of the Board of Revenue (Colonies) to consider all legal and factual submissions made by the parties and decide the matter in accordance with the law and then follow the required procedure. Under the law

The GHQ then canceled the allotment in October 2013 in its papers.

Officials from the Chief Minister’s Secretariat said that as long as Mr. Sharif was present, no one dared to bring up the issue again.

In November 2019, GHQ’s DG Lands wrote a letter to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government, headed by Mr. Bazdar, to restore the allotment, stating that “all orders of the President / Chief Executive of Pakistan Constitutional protection was granted and upheld by the Supreme Court of Pakistan in the Tika Iqbal case.

Surprisingly, DG Lands did not mention that the decision was overturned by a 14-member bench in the PCO judges’ case in July 2009.

Two days after receiving DG Lands’ letter, the BOR member (colonies) launched a fresh summary for the Punjab Chief Minister, asking Mr. Bazdar to “make a clear decision on whether the allotment was illegal.” Cancel the order. ” The Chief Minister referred the matter to the Cabinet Standing Committee on Legislation, which in February endorsed the views of DG Lands, GHQ.

The Chief Minister later approved the allotment made last week “recommended by the Standing Committee subject to Cabinet approval”.

Neither Punjab Information Minister Fayyaz-ul-Hassan Chauhan nor Chief Minister’s Principal Secretary Iftikhar Sahu answered Dawn’s questions and repeated texts and called in the last three days.

Mr. Chuhan replied that it was only when he wrote the answer and asked questions, but never backed down.

Questions were sent to the Minister as to whether the provincial government/cabinet in its meeting on Thursday had approved the allotment of AWS land to 47 city officials. What factors led the Cabinet to reverse the cancellation of the allotment by the previous government after it had been illegal for so many years?