ABAD lodges complaints against police officials involved in land grabbing

ABAD lodges complaints against police officials involved in land grabbing

Association of Builders and Developers (ABAD) Pakistan has lodged a complaint against police officials involved in land grabbing.

The association submitted its complaints to the Inspector General Policy, Sindh on March 09, 2023.

Muhammad Altaf Tai, Chairman, ABAD in his letter to the IGP Sindh informed that the association is the sole representative body of builders and developers in Pakistan, with over 1400 leading construction and development companies across the country.

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“Unfortunately, we are facing critical challenges in the current socio-economic environment, including the escalating prices of iron, steel bars, and construction materials.”

In addition, the issue of land grabbing is creating problems and frustrations among the business community due to the lack of effective institutional mechanism to counter this menace in the city, ABAD chairman added.

He said that the association had observed that some police officials are involved in corrupt practices and are criminally involved in land grabbing and encroachment of land of ABAD members.

The association also listed the names of police officials along with their designations.

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Altaf Tai requested the IGP Sindh to initiate an inquiry against the police officials involved in the land grabbing and criminal activities along with taking appropriate action, including their removal from the job and punishment.

“We implore you to address these issues urgently, with transparency and within a specific timeframe, as the continued failure to act will result in significant financial losses for our member,” ABAD chairman said.

The association also urged the IGP Sindh to take all necessary measures to protect the properties and businesses of builders and developers, as well as other law-abiding citizens.

Earlier, this week the apex trade body of the country i.e. Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) had expressed concerns over the vicious, unending and resource-depleting menace of land grabbing of the industrial, commercial, agricultural and residential lands in Pakistan in general and, in Sindh province, in particular.

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FPCCI chief Irfan Iqbal Sheikh apprised that hundreds of industrial plots in Pakistan have been illegally-occupied through forged documents; out-rightly grabbed or encroached upon; and, as President of the apex body, he is under tremendous pressure from the business, industry and trade community from across Pakistan to raise the issue with the federal & Sindh governments for its decisive resolution in a fair mechanism.

President FPCCI has demanded that special, speedy courts should be set up for the litigation vis-à-vis land grabbing cases; and, culprits should be sentenced for up to 10 years, coupled with recovery of land & fines. Additionally, he demanded, the amendment made for COVID-related circumstances in the 2012 laws applicable on land records should be abolished.

Irfan Iqbal Sheikh mentioned that Pakistan ranks at 156th worst out of total 190 countries on institutional mechanism to cope with land grabbing; and, it is a yet another challenge in the ease of doing business environment of the country.

Additionally, he added, as per the report of International Crisis Group (ICG), the metropolitan city of Karachi loses $2.9 billion annually in its formal economy due to various mafias, i.e. land, water and transport.

FPCCI Chief has categorically demanded that the Sindh Government must form an all-inclusive, powerful committee with provincial revenue minister; FPCCI representatives; law-enforcement agencies (LEAs)’ personnel; Senior Member Board of Revenue (SMBR) Sindh; representative of Hyderabad Settlement & Survey Department and members of legal fraternity to start resolving the issues of land grabbing on a priority, time-bound and transparent manner.

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Irfan Iqbal Sheikh maintained that if even now the Sindh Government does not pay heed to the burning issue of land grabbing, the business community would be left with no other option than to form a private security arrangement to protect themselves on their own from being deprived off their hard-earned assets and properties. “As the taxpayers & law-abiding citizens, it is our fundamental right to have protection of our lives, properties and businesses,” he added.