As the Islamabad High Court ruled against allotment of more than one plot to top bureaucrats at public expense, documents reveal that 588 senior officers in grades BS-20 to BS-22 have acquired luxury double-storey houses at subsidised rates.
The IHC had on Monday temporarily suspended the allotments in Islamabad’s new sectors and referred the matter to the federal government to examine whether the allotment of plots to bureaucrats and judges was justified.
The federal government intended to examine the ‘entitlement’ of such allottees to ensure observance of Article 25 of the Constitution that provides equal opportunity to all.
What’s more, a large number of them have been fortunate enough to get hold of pricey plots — a few of them got two plots — in sectors F-14 and F-15 of Islamabad, according to the papers obtained by Dawn.
According to official records, 185 of the 588 bureaucrats, who were allotted houses in the housing scheme of the Pakistan Housing Authority Foundation (PHAF), established on the Capital Development Authority’s (CDA) land, have also recently been allotted plots in the capital’s new sectors of F-14 and F-15.
Under the PHAF scheme, top bureaucrats were allotted “grey structures” of double-storey houses of one kanal, 13 marlas and seven marlas in the revenue estate of Kurri, which is near the CDA’s elite housing project called Park Enclave and private housing scheme named Bahria Enclave.
A statement issued by the PHAF says: “The mission of this organisation is to help in developing modern community living with all the comforts and amenities of 21st century at affordable cost for the middle & low income groups.”
The PHAF traditionally built low-cost housing schemes for its members and this was the first time that it introduced a scheme for senior bureaucrats in a locality.
It may be recalled that in 2016 the then prime minister had cancelled the allotment of “choice” apartments to influential bureaucrats in the same locality and ordered an investigation into the “manipulated balloting” carried out by the PHAF.
Following a balloting, the Federal Government Employees Housing Authority (FGEHA) recently allotted plots to senior bureaucrats, judges of superior courts, lawyers and judicial officers of Islamabad’s subordinate judiciary.
However, the IHC suspended all the allotments except for the affected land owners.
The federal information minister at a recent post-cabinet meeting press conference had termed unfortunate the move to accommodate the ruling elite on the land of poor villagers. According to him, the government is working on the issue in the light of the IHC directive and has formed a committee as well.
Talking to Dawn, federal Minister for Law and Justice Barrister Farogh Naseem said the allotments would be examined in the light of the IHC judgement that declared the allotment of more than a plot to civil servants as illegal under Article 25 of the Constitution that ensures equal treatment to all.
Moreover, a judgement of the Supreme Court issued in 1996 in the Hameed Akhtar Khan Niazi case had ruled against discrimination among civil servants and ordered providing equal opportunity to similarly placed officers.
The FGEHA was established to provide shelter to the employees of federal government only. However, while hearing a case relating to acquisition of land in Sector G-13, Justice Nawaz Abbasi of the Lahore High Court’s Rawalpindi bench had on Nov 8, 1999 prescribed the criteria for allotment of plots to journalists and judges of the superior courts.
Initially, civil servants were entitled to one plot each only. However, in 2006, the then prime minister allowed two plots each for BS-22 officials. Subsequently, the judges of the Supreme Court also claimed two plots each.
The IHC recently set aside the policy of allotment of second plot and referred the matter to the federal cabinet.
Interestingly, during the FGEHA balloting for the two new sectors, 19 bureaucrats of grade BS-22 were allotted two plots each. They had already been allotted a double-storey house each in the PHAF scheme. Hence, these lucky bureaucrats secured three housing units each.
They are: Seerat Asghar, Raana Seerat, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Aslam, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Establishment Shehzad Arbab (he applied for all the three while in service), Shahid Ahmed, Manzoor Ali, Mohammad Afzal, Mohammad Ali Gardezi, Riaz Ahmed, Arshad Ahmed, Mohammad Anwar, Fahimullah Khattak, Shahid Ashraf Tarar, Mohammad Saleem Khan, Mohammad Saleem, Sajjad Sohail Hotiana, Shabbir Ahmed and Aijaz Ali Khan.
The BS-22 bureaucrats, who were allotted one kanal plot each in the new sectors and also had a government house of one kanal, are: Javed Iqbal, Shahid Hussain Asad, Mohammad Arif Azim, Ilyas Ch, Mohammad Riaz, Haque Nawaz, Mohammad Naeem Khan, Ghulam Mustafa, Amjad Ali Khan, Shaukat Hayat, Mohammad Ashraf, Masood Akhtar Chaudhry, Sikander Hayat Khan, Khalid Saeed Haroon, Ahmad Nasim, Sibte Hassan, Nazir Ahmed Chaudhry, Nazir Hussain Mahar, Attullah Khan, Mohammad Ziaur Rehman, Shahab Anwar Khawaja, Tariq Iqbal Puri, Naguibullah Malik, Kazi Afaq Hussain, Waseem Ahmed, Mohammad Umer Morio, Ashraf Qureshi, Iqbal Awan, former Supreme Court registrar Dr Faqir Hussain, Javed Kazi, Mohammad Ishfaq Khattak, Mansoor Suhail, Tahawwar Ahmad, Sohail Amin, Gul Mohammad Rind, Kalay Bux Rind, Abdul Ghaffar Soomro, Salman Bashir and Prince Abbas Khan.
The BS-21 officers, who got 13-marla houses of category-II and one-kanal plots in the new sectors, are: Afzal Nau Bahar Kayani, Akhtar Jan Wazir , Shahid Hussain Raja, Mohammad Ishaq Lashari, Iftikhar Abbas, Azizur Rehman Gondal, Ramzan Channa, Amin Hashim, Nasreen Haque, Mohammad Anwar Khan Rana, Mohammad Arshad Malik, Shaukat Javed, Mehboob Ali, Syed Munawar Abbas, Mohammad Abbas, Syed Feisal Saud, Mohammad Ali Afridi, Javed Akhtar, Syed Turab Haider Zaidi, Mohammad Ijaz, Habibullah Khan, Aziz Ahmad Bilour, Sarshar Ahmed Khan, Rana Assad Amin, Mohammad Junaid, Ghulam Abbas Nakai, Saeed Ahmed Alvi, Nadeem Ashraf, Rizwan ul Haq Mahmood, A.K.B. Babar, Bilal Anwar, Shaigan Shareef Malik, Mohammad Juman J. Jamro, Nasreen Haque, Sheikh Anjum Bashir, Ahmed Rasul Bangash, Ikramullah Mehsud, Arif Ikram, Shahidullah Beg, Mohammad Arshad Bhatti, Abdul Wadood Shah, Abdul Khaliq, Malik Israr Hussain, Luttfullah Virk, Aftab Anwar Baloch, Mohammad Naeem Khan, Mohammad Younas Dagha, Haque Nawaz, Gulam Rasool Aphan, Naseer Ahmed Gillani and Malik Amanat Rasul.
The BS-20 officers, who were allotted seven-marla double-storey houses in the same housing scheme and also had one kanal plots in the FGEHA sectors, are: Zahoor Ahmed, Shamsuddin Mangrio, Mohammad Hafeez, Hamid Haroon, Salahuddin Qureshi, Mohammad Umer Farooq, Abid Hussain Notkani, Abdul Khaliq, Mohammad Ahmed, Bashir Memon, Mohammad Akram, Hafiz Sher Ali, Hashim Popalzai, Farzand Ali Adil, Muzaffar Ali Afridi, Ansar Hussain Shamsi, Mazhar Ali Sheikh, Usman Ali, Shamim Wazir, Ahsan Ali Kaher, Anwar Ali Shah, Afzal Khan, Sami Ullah, Jam Bashir Ahmed, Iqbal Ahmed, Ali Bat Khan, Arif Asim, Masood Ahmed, Iftikhar Ahmed Mir, Fazal Hussain, Asifur Rehman, Abdul Karim, Dr Mohammad Afzal, Tariq Mehmood Nadeem, Shakir Hussain Shamim, Humayun Raza Shafi, Mahfuz Pasha, Mohammad Zaheer, Sikander Khan, Shahid Yar Khan, Shahid Bashir, Nasreen Farah, Afzal Haq, Raja Nadir Ali, Himayat Ali Khan, Sohail Khan, S. Saeed Shah, Anjum Assad Amin, Shoaib Bashir Khan, Abdul Shakoor, Amna Imran, Jamil Ahmed, Bashir Ahmed, Khurshid Naeem Malik, Ashiq Hussain, Mukarram Dad, Mohammad Altaf Bhatti, Abdul Rauf Khan, Naila Qureshi, Zareen Salim Ansari, Naila Chohan, Younas Khan, Javed Akhtar, Ikram Ghani, Irfan Jahangir, Akhtar Jamal Abro, Mumtaz Rehman Khan, Zulqarnain Aamir, Khurram Gulnaz, Hashim Raza Zaidi, Abdul Siddique, Fiaz M. Khoso, Nadeem Shafiq Malik, Hamid Ali Khan, Mohammad Mahmud, Sajjad Haider Khan, Ghulam Rasul, Javaid Iqbal, Mohammad Irshad, Abdul Hameed, Syed Irshad Ali, Iqbal Mehmood and Irshad Kaleemi.
PHAF Managing Director Amir Mohyuddin, when contacted, said that since he had assumed the office on July 1 this year and then proceeded to the mandatory promotion course, he did not know much about the previous allotments.
However, a PHAF officer told Dawn that grey structure houses were allotted to the officers prior to their application for FGEHA’s plots on a first-come-first-serve basis.
When contacted, FGEHA spokesman Mohammad Irfan Chaudhry said the allotments had been made in accordance with the policy of the PHAF and FGEHA. According to him, the policy allowed allotment of a flat or “grey structure” to government employees by the PHAF in addition to a plot by the FGEHA.