PAF developed housing scheme in land meant for ‘national security’

News Desk

An audit report submitted by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) revealed that the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) converted land which it had acquired for “national security purposes” into a housing scheme causing a loss of Rs. 1.92 billion to the national exchequer.

The report stated that, “During audit it was found that CAA (GM Walton Aerodrome Lahore) could not get vacated CAA land at Walton Aerodrome measuring 19.21 acres from PAF that forcibly occupied the land in 2006-07 on the pretext of national security and for setting up radar. However, the same land was sold out to members of Pak Falcon Society for which each member had paid the cost of land/development. This resulted in unjustified/unauthorized occupation of CAA land valuing Rs.1,921 million.”

According to the report, the CAA also revealed that there were many pending land disputes under process for settlement between it and the PAF.

The audit officials also suggested that the matter needs to be taken up at a high level for investigation.

The CAA officials informed the PAC that the area in question was already out of bounds for civilians and, therefore, the land could not be used for residential or commercial purposes.

Earlier the Departmental Accounts Committee (DAC) had referred the audit to the PAC in December 2012 because the DAC was not convinced with the CAA report.

PAC member Hina Rabbani Khar raised a question regarding the land being converted into a housing scheme in 2006-2007 asking why no action was taken against the officials who were responsible for the loss. She also suggested the dissolution of the CAA board of directors.

PAC Chairman Mian Shehbaz Sharif asked why the matter had not been resolved at DAC level and formed a special committee headed by Senator Shibli Faraz to investigate the matter.

Earlier, the Supreme Court of Pakistan had also directed the cantonment boards of Karachi to demolish all the buildings built on military lands as it may create security issues. The Supreme Court also ordered the anti-encroachment cell to demolish all the commercial buildings built on PAF land at Shahrah-e-Faisal.

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