Land Frauds in Pakistan

Land scam: Ministry asked to put realtor’s name on ECL

From (accessed 15 October 2011)

By Mudassir Raja

Published: October 12, 2011


The Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) has written to the interior ministry to put the names of all accused in the Bahria Town land scam on exit control list, it has been learnt.

An official, who is part of the four-member investigation team, told The Express Tribune that the ACE director-general, Rawalpindi, had requested the interior ministry to put the names of the suspects, including Bahria Town Chief Executive Bahria Malik Riaz and his son Ali Riaz, involved in buying 1,402 kanals of land in Rawat on forged documents and fake identities, on ECL.

He said they had assured the Supreme Court that all the suspects would be arrested soon. Two employees of the Bahria Town, four revenue officials and two private persons are already in the custody of the ACE.

Malik Riaz in his statement before the ACE investigation team on October 3 had denied the allegations and said his housing society was a victim in the case not the beneficiary.

However, the ACE stuck to its claims that the realtor and his son were part of the deal in which they purchased land using forged documents against Rs80.5 million in 2009.

The ACE chief had already approved the judicial action against the accused persons in the case before the SC on October 6, as the apex court had expressed annoyance over the delayed progress in the case.

ACE Director Muhammad Khan Ranjha, who has been leading the investigation in the case could not be contacted for the comments.

The investigations in the case gained momentum last month after one of the arrested man, Tanveer, approached the SC for bail and said the ACE had only arrested him and the influential people were managing to stay at large.

The case was registered after the villagers complained to the ACE against the revenue officials for depriving them of their land. Subsequently, the mutation of the land was cancelled by district officer revenue and investigations were initiated.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 12, 2011. (emphasis added)



3 responses to “Land Frauds in Pakistan

  1. Like the Malaysia Boonsoom Bunyanit case (IC fraud) and Tan Ying Hong (forged charge instrument)

  2. Land fraud in Pakistan has its origins in partition. It w\as difficult for the new nation in 1948 to keep tabs on or to manage land titles much of which apart from near and in built up areas had no title except customary title or some other form of special British (mainly military) type of posessory title.

    An elite class of people from what is today India, mainly the educated migrants who then migrated to Pakistan like the Bhutto’s and Jinnah’s (Jinnah was originally from Mumbai) acquired large tracts of land in Sindh province and along the more fertile areas of Pakistani Punjab and made it their own.

    Squatters from a divided India too began to inherit land through marriage and because much of the ruling classes within the Muslim communities had originally come from India (as Pakistan was to a large part till then ruled by tribal and parochial systems), the Indian emigres had a distinct advantage in land acquisition transactions.

    It is misperceived by many that Zulfikhar Ali Bhutto (former Pakistani Prime Minister) was a Sindhi. He had acquired vast tracts of farming land in Sindh province where his power base lay. But he actually came from Punjab and was Punjabi. His wife was Persian. Zia Ul Haq too was from India originally as is Pervez Musharaff. Many of them acquired land being descendants of an elite with experience and expertise in land and legal aspects of commerce from the British Administrative capital of Delhi.

    The dilemma faced by any Pakistani administration over land and land disputes is unenviable and almost impossible to resolve. The Pakistanis of the North West Frontier province and Wazaristan for instance do not trade land with outsiders (meaning anyone not an indigenous of their tribes) including the government. What land government acquires in these areas are on a lease at sufferance. It can be terminated by the landowners at a moments notice. it has been the case for centuries.

    Land tenure in many of Pakistan’s states and territories is based on feudal system. Title is hereditary and incompatible with the Westminster system of land rights. Their traditions and links to the land will continue to outlast any foreign imposition on them. It explains the instability and tribal conflicts that have dominated the Pakistani landscape and that of the Indian sub continent to some extent.

    Sadly there is no easy solution within or outside the courts in Pakistan for the resolution of land conflicts or any other conflict involving legal issues that can be explained away in the context of the common law.

    A very interesting subject though for discussion and research.


  3. Who did you pay to do your blog? Its really nicely designed I bet that is why you get so much traffic!

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