Nawaz denies role in Pakpattan shrine land sale

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed all the parties to the case of alleged illegal allotment of Waqf property attached to a Pakpattan shrine to submit their replies to a joint investigation team (JIT) report into the matter in 15 days.

During the proceedings by a three-member bench, headed by Justice Umar Ata Bandial and comprising Justice Faisal Arab and Justice Munib Akhtar, former Punjab governor Rafiq Rajwana appeared on behalf of former Punjab chief minister Nawaz Sharif.

The JIT, in its report on January 15, had recommended criminal proceedings against several individuals, including, Sharif, for withdrawing a December 17, 1969 notification and allotting a huge piece land of the Auqaf Department around Pakpattan to Dewan Ghulam Qutab in 1986, in violation of a Lahore High Court (LHC) order.

In February, Sharif had requested the court to reject the report. Rajwana informed the court that the property was only given to the caretaker of the shrine to look after and added that the caretaker had then sold the land. The counsel pleaded to the court that Sharif had nothing to do with the matter.

Advocate Iftikhar Gillani, the counsel for Dewan Ghulam Qutab, said that he had already submitted objections to the JIT report. He contended that the Supreme Court had taken notice of the matter after 29 years.

Justice Bandial asked if the land was the property of the then government or of the Auqaf department. Gilani responded that Auqaf only took care of the property and did not have any property of its own.

He said that the summary for the allotment of the land had been approved by the then chief minister. The question is that why the then chief minister signed the summary to give the land to a private individual,” he remarked

The justice observed that the decision to allot the land was in violation of the court order. Rajwana informed the bench that the Auqaf secretary had issued a notification to take back the land from the Auqaf administration.

The court ordered the parties to the case to submit their replies to a joint investigation team (JIT) report into the matter in 15 days. The bench adjourned hearing of the case till after Eidul Fitr.

Related Articles