Saturday, August 8, 2009

Special tribunals for land grabbing cases in the offing

By Razzak Abro

The Sindh government plans to set up special tribunals for awarding strict punishments to those involved in encroachment of government land through summary trials, keeping in view that this issue is one of main reasons behind the incidents of target killings in Karachi.

Senior member of the Board of Revenue, Ghulam Ali Pasha, said this while briefing the Sindh Minister for Revenue, Jam Mahtab Dahar, who has recently been assigned the portfolio of the revenue department.

“A summary is being prepared for the approval of the Sindh chief minister. It would be sent to the provincial assembly that will envisage the establishment of tribunals, summary trials and punishment for those involved in encroaching government land”, he said.

Dahar was previously the provincial population minister. Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah while introducing changes in his cabinet had allotted him the revenue ministry replacing Jam Saifullah Dharejo.

Talking to the media on the occasion, the revenue minister said that the land grabbing business in the city is not a secret and it has continued since a long time.

He added that it was one of the main reasons behind the current bloodshed in the city. The minister said that his department has also prepared a bill for presenting it in forthcoming session of the assembly under which an anti-encroachment force would be established to curb this menace.

The revenue minister said that he has set three priorities after taking the new task. They include computerisation of the revenue record, regularisation of villages falling under the Gothabad Scheme, and making the relief department more active and effective.

He said the computerisation of the revenue record would minimise land disputes, land grabbing and encroachment in the province, especially in Karachi. He directed revenue officers to take steps for early computerisation of the record.

Mahtab also stressed for early completion of the probe into the general complaints, which the department had received about distribution of substandard wheat in Thar. The minister said that he has accepted the new responsibility as a challenge, and he would welcome all suggestions and proposals for succeeding in his goals, and for the betterment of the department and relief to people.

Earlier while presenting his briefing senior member BoR, Ghulam Ali Pasha informed the minister about the composition, functions and working of various sections of the department.

He said that more service centres would be established at taluka registration offices. He also informed the minister about the relief camps set up for facilitating the displaced people of Swat and others parts of the NWFP and FATA in Karachi and Hyderabad, and about their return process to their native areas.