LAHORE: Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) Chairman Siddiqul Farooq has urged the federal and provincial governments to fulfill their responsibility for saving and retrieving the trust land from grabbers.
He has particularly asked Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif to order action against the land grabbers and their facilitators.
“I hope that Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif will take strict action against the land grabbers and their facilitators by upholding law and writ of the government,” Mr Farooq told reporters after the ETPB’s 300th meeting held here on Monday.
He said the May 14 incidents of violence and attack on him and the local ETPB office in Nankana were planned to damage “soft image” of Pakistan. He said both Nankana district coordination officer (DCO) and district police officer (DPO) on May 13 had assured the ETPB of retrieving the trust land from illegal occupants. But, both officers didn’t play their role at the time of cleanup operation, he added.
However, Nankana DPO Rana Ayaz Saleem, when contacted, once again rejected the chairman’s claim.
Mr Farooq said a five member committee comprising Darshan Lal, Asfand Yar Bhandara, Ramesh Lal, Kanji Ram Aru and retired Col Mubashir had been constituted. The committee would meet the chief minister soon and brief him on the May 14 incident.
He said the ETPB was all set to start auction of its land in 19 districts during the current month. “We are expecting good rates from the tenants. And this time we will lease out our land for a period of five years,”Mr Farooq said.
Meanwhile, sources in Punjab government say the PML-N top leadership has asked Mr Farooq, who is also among the important party leader, to avoid leading any anti-encroachment operation himself in the future, keeping in view his stature.
“He has also been asked to coordinate such operations in Nankana in consultation with the local MNAs and MPAs and the senior administrative and security officials,” an official told Dawn requesting anonymity.