Almost all crimes and on all levels have increased in Pakistan in the last one decade. Now we should be calling Pakistan the land of the criminals as they are the only people who can survive here. The government and all its agencies and organisations have pushed the common man against the wall. I will only talk about land mafia which has become very strong. I am sure that no crime can be committed without strong support from our own law making and implementing sections of the government.
The land mafia has become a monster that openly defied court orders and government orders! Pakistani people have traditionally respected the security of women and children, especially orphaned children, but it seems that now times have changed and the people involved in land mafia have openly targeted women and children, defying even Allah’s laws and our traditions.
The cold blooded murder, in broad day light, of a Ms. Salma a manager in Islamabad, who worked for the Services Cooperative Housing Society, shocked everyone. She was shot dead in her office by a group belonging to a criminal land mafia. Ms Salma had managed to clear all the hurdles created by this land mafia (which also involved Ex- Managers of the organisation who had embezzled millions) to help start the allotment of plots to members who had been waiting for more than 30 years to get their plots. Alas after Ms Salma's murder, the culprits managed to get a Stay Order against the organisation and stop all the development work indefinitely.
In Peshawar, in the same posh locality of University Town, a public owned park was taken over by a local ex-MPA and his cronies, and was turned into a restaurant and bar. Although the residents of the area registered a law suit against this injustice, the judge, probably under pressure, stalled the proceedings of the suit for four years. All of these incidents clearly indicate strict laws in dealing with land mafia related crime. The past years have clearly shown that our police cannot do anything to stop this crime. The MPAs and MNAs are themselves benefiting from these crimes, while the judiciary is useless in curtailing this menace.
Though all suggestions fall on deaf ears I would still go ahead and make some suggestions. All land records should be computerized within the year and any government employee found associating or in league with the land mafia, should be given harsh punishments to discourage the rest.
No housing society should be allowed to take payments from the members and not develop or hand over the plots to the members after the lapse of 5 years, and then the money should be returned with earned profit. Also all housing society advertisements should be verified by a central phone number before they are displayed, to ensure that only registered and legal society ads are advertised.
These laws will help reduce land mafia crime and help improve investment in housing development. These laws will help speed up the development of houses in Pakistan, ensuring that the prime minister is able to reach his promise of constructing millions of houses for poor Pakistanis during his current term.
SHAZMEEN SARDAR,
Peshawar, October 7.