Baboos, journalists to get plots in capital -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Baboos, journalists to get plots in capital

Ahmad Noorani

ISLAMABAD: The ousted Gilani government has initiated yet another phase of allotting plots to favourite bureaucrats and journalists and the Capital Development Authority (CDA) is in the final phase of making allotment of these luxurious sector D-12 plots, official documents reveal.

The Federal Government Employees Housing Foundation (FGEHF) in its numerous correspondences with CDA in the last few weeks wants to ‘create’ 27 plots in the developed sectors of Islamabad (in this case sector D-12 – market value of one plot from Rs30-35 million) on emergency basis for allotments to journalists and bureaucrats.

According to official documents of CDA, FGEHF, ministry of information, establishment division the allottees of these plots in first phase include Haroon-ur-Rasheed, special secretary to President Zardari, Muhammad Ayub Qazi, special secretary to ex-PM Gilani, none else than secretary housing and works himself Mr Kamran Lashari and four journalists.

According to ministry of information letter no. M/O I&B U.O No. 2(32)/2012-P-I dated 29-03-2012 and FGEHF’s letter to CDA dated April 3, 2012, the journalists include Irfan Raza, Muhammad Anwar Raza, Naveed Siddiqui and Azim Siddiqi.

The PPP government has asked FGEHF to immediately allot category-I plots measuring (50’X90’) to these journalists. It is important to mention that though public at large oppose policy of bestowing plots to journalists by the successive governments but besides this journalists’ organisations and ministry of information have devised regulations for such allotments which clearly define that category-I plot could only be allotted to full-time editor of category-A newspaper. There are different categories for columnists, reporters, junior reporters and cameramen etc. None of the above named journalist is an editor. When The News approached Kamran Lashari, federal secretary housing and works, for his version he replied that the process of allotment of his plot was not completed yet. “I am in Grade-22 and by virtue of this position, I am entitled to two plots. Yes, I have taken one plot from CDA already but I can take another under the rules,” Kamran Lashari said.

When The News approached DG FGEHF, Talat Rasheed Mian, he replied that with regard to allotment of plots to journalists the federal ministry of information sends us the list of journalists mentioning category of plot to be allotted to them. “If we have plots available with us in the journalists’ quota, we allot them or send the application to CDA so that if in any sector some plots are available these could be given to these journalists”, Talat said.

He said that under Prime Minister’s Assistance Programme, Grade-22 officers are given plots, which FGEHF allots strictly in accordance with the recommendations of the Establishment Division and housing ministry. He said that as FGEHF does not have any plot in its sectors so all such recommendations were forwarded to the CDA for creation of plots in any developed sector.

Documents available with The News confirm that in the first phase CDA has arranged 9 plots of category-I in sector D-12, which could be allotted to the above-mentioned bureaucrats and journalists any time.

But when Farkhand Iqbal, chairman CDA, was approached he denied in categorical words that CDA has allotted any plot to any bureaucrat or journalist. The News’ question was whether CDA is allotting plots on the basis of these documents but chairman CDA cleverly tried to play with words.

The News