BADIN: Estranged Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader and former home minister Dr Zulfikar Mirza on Monday called for a thorough investigation into the allotment of thousands of acres of lands across Sindh and also into the ill-gotten assets of all those running their property businesses.
Speaking to Dawn in Tando Bago during a protest by councillors of his group against alleged corruption in the municipal institutions of Badin district, Dr Mirza criticised Bahria Town projects in Sindh and said that the property tycoon, Malik Riaz, intended to turn the entire province into his colony. He said that PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari and his sister MNA Faryal Talpur should be stopped from usurping Sindh’s lands through such companies dealing in properties. He said Karachi was facing an acute water shortage due to certain Bahria Town projects.
Hundreds of people in Nawabshah had also been affected by the company’s ventures, he added.
He asked all such people to come forward and join in the protest against land-grabbers. He offered his services to the investigating institutions in this regard.
Meanwhile, councillors belonging to the Mirza group held a protest outside the office of the Badin municipal committee forcing officials to defer opening of tenders.
The councillors warned that if the tenders were opened they would besiege the office and said the officials concerned had no legal authority to carry on development works and embezzle the funds.
They said that they had moved court to attain their constitutional powers and they would not allow any corrupt bureaucrat to embezzle public money. What had forced the municipal authorities to issue tenders in such a hurry when the apex court had already ordered to hold elections for the offices of chairmen and vice chairmen within 60 days through secret ballot, they said.
Besides, they said, they had moved the Hyderabad circuit bench of the Sindh High Court which would hear the case against tenders on April 20. They would not bow to bureaucracy and continue the struggle to stop misuse of funds, they said.
They said that contracts for 109 schemes worth Rs130 million had been invited which were to be given to local PPP leaders to embezzle the funds. Since people had put their confidence in them they would resist such moves against the city, they said.
DC Rafique Ahmed Qureshi reiterated that the officials were not bound to take into confidence councillors-elect and rejected allegations of corruption or favouritism in awarding the contracts.
In the meantime, the municipal authorities announced the date of opening of tenders for various development schemes in the city had been postponed.