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Thursday Apr 15 2021

Lahore court stops Punjab govt from cancelling transfer of Raiwind land belonging to Sharifs

  • Punjab government says Sharif family has illegally occupied land belonging to the Auqaf department.
  • Sharif family obtains stay order against Punjab government's decision
  • Sharif family, on the other hand, says it bought the land in 1992, 1997 and 2015 legally.

LAHORE: A Lahore court has stopped the Punjab government from cancelling the transfer of 127 kanals of land belonging to the Raiwind residence of the Sharif family on Thursday.

Sources told Geo News the Punjab Revenue Department was ordered to transfer the land back to the Punjab government.

The court approved the stay order and summoned all parties to the case on April 27. 

The court of civil judge Faheem ul Hassan Shah issued the stay order after Nawaz Sharif's nephew Yousuf Abbas Sharif and other members of the Sharif family, through their lawyers, approached the court. 

The Sharif family's legal counsel, Kamran Bashir Mughal, said the Sharif family are joint owners of 1,580 kanal of land in Jati Umrah. He said out of this, land spread over 400 kanals were used for residential purposes while the remaining 1,180 kanals were used by the Sharif family for agricultural purposes. 

"All construction was undertaken on the lands after approval from the relevant departments," he said. 

The lawyer said that 241 kanal and 10 marla land at the Mauzoh Manik in Raiwind is the property of a certain Begum Shamim Akhtar. 

The petitioner urged the civil court to stop the government of Punjab, the Punjab Revenue Department and other institutions from taking any illegal action against the property. 

The Raiwind land is the central part of the Sharifs' residence in the area.  

The Punjab government has accused the Sharif family of illegally occupying land that originally belongs to the Auqaf department. Sources said the Punjab Revenue Department can take action at any given time to wrest the land from the Sharifs. 

On the other hand, sources said the Punjab government has kept secret the process of cancelling the transfer of land to the Sharifs.  

The Sharif family, meanwhile, has levelled accusations at the Punjab government, saying that it was preparing fake documents in its bid to raze Sharif family's Jati Umrah residence to the ground.

The Sharifs said the family had bought this land in 1992, 1997 and in 2015. In the petition filed by the court, the Sharifs have said the Punjab government has been forcing members of the Auqaf Department of Punjab to prepare forged documents so that the land belonging to the Sharif family could be reclaimed by the government in the anti-encroachment drive. 

The petitioner blamed the provincial government for subjecting the Sharif family to political victimisation. 

According to some documents of the Punjab Revenue Department seen by Geo News, it appears that the Punjab government did not possess records of the land in question. 

Geo News tried to contact the Punjab government over the matter numerous times but received no answer. 

Won't rest till qabza mafia is dealt with: CM Buzdar assures PM Imran Khan

Last month, Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar had assured Prime Minister Imran Khan that the provincial government will not rest until the "qabza mafia" (land grabbers) in the province are dealt with.

The chief minister had met PM Imran Khan during which matters of governance in Punjab came under discussion.

Buzdar had told the prime minister that the government had enhanced its operation against land grabbers in Punjab.

The prime minister himself has spoken out against land grabbers in Punjab and has blamed former prime minister Nawaz Sharif for facilitating these mafias during his tenure as the country's premier.