ISLAMABAD - The country’s top university is at loggerheads with a top lawmaker in the Senate over confusion about a piece of land that houses a recently-built spacious residence of Senate Chairman Nayyar Hussain Bukhari as both the parties claim ownership of the land .
While the Quaid-e-Azam University (QAU) has approved to build School of Animal Sciences on the site, the house of Bukhari which the university’s management deems to be an encroachment is creating a hindrance in the completion of the new faculty.
The documents available with The Nation reveal that the QAU purchased 1,709 acres, 4 kanals and 12 marlas of land from Capital Development Authority (CDA) in 1976 for Rs 2.75 million of which 200 acres of land is mysteriously missing.
The documents show that Senate Chairman Bukhari summoned a meeting of five officials of QAU on February 20 this year at his disputed residence in the capacity of acting President when Mamnoon Hussain was abroad.
The Senate chairman told the meeting that the land had been allocated by CDA for 600 feet wide highway from Bari Imam to Bhara kahu, but, interestingly, the CDA could not produce any documentary proof/map in this regard.
The disputed land has created a cold-war-like situation between the university and the Senate chairman amid secret meetings taking place between the two parties while the CDA is playing a role of a facilitator to settle the dispute, but the things are going from bad to worse with each passing day.
The QAU Officials are tightlipped regarding the disputed land , fearing backlash. Academic Staff Association President Dr Waheed Chaudhry, however, told this reporter on Tuesday the faculty members would retrieve the occupied land by hook or by crook and would not allow encroachers to usurp the university property.
“It is beyond imagination that the site proposed for School of Animal Sciences, houses the residence of an outsider. QAU houses 25 departments, imparting knowledge to 10,000 students. We must expand the university rather than shrinking its space,” Dr Chaudhry who is also the Anthropology Department chairman said.
On the other hand, Senate Assistant Media Officer Noor Elahi said the land was owned by the Senate chairman, arguing khasra 145/2 was purchased by Sibte Shah, the brother of the chairman. He added the documents available with him were very clear on the subject.
Bukhari , through the Senate secretary, has convened a meeting of CDA for settling the dispute. Official sources said no transparency could be ensured as the civic authority under the influence of the party in question could not deliver justice.
Though the QAU has bank receipts regarding purchase of 1,700 acres of land from CDA, Land and Rehabilitation Director Nadeem Abro claimed the university had made payment against 1,500 acres of land only, adding the educational institution had yet to pay the price for the remaining 200 acres.
Revenue experts say the plea that the university had not made payment for the remaining 200 acres of land was irrational as the CDA had already transferred 1,700 acres of land to QAU and it had had nothing to do with the payment.
When approached, CDA Estate Member Shaista Sohail who has attended several meetings to resolve the dispute between the university and the Senate chairman left her office, saying she was to attend an important meeting. She even failed to reply to a text message sent on her cell phone about the issue.
QAU Project Director Bakht Rahman who represents the university on the issue was hit by a bullet Last year. The university lodged an FIR against Sibte Shah Bukhari in 2006 for harassing the varsity staff members regarding encroachment on the educational institution.