Islamabad - Quaid-i-Azam University has lost a further 165 acres of land to the encroachers, official documents available with The Nation revealed.

The university had been allotted a total of 1709 acres of land. However, it could not acquire the land fully.

Interestingly, the most prestigious seat of higher learning in the capital also hosts as many as nine villages within its boundary walls, the inhabitants of which are occupying 285 acres of land illegally. Yet, it was revealed that another 165 acres of land owned by the varsity outside its boundary walls has also been occupied by the encroachers.

The city administration has failed in acquiring the land, said an official of the QAU on Wednesday.  The documents with The Nation said that out of the total 1709 acres of land acquired by the Capital Development Authority (CDA) for the QAU, the varsity is currently facing shortfall of 450 acres.  The QAU official said that despite repeated requests to the CDA and Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) administration, encroachers continued grabbing the varsity land in and outside its boundary walls. The documents also said that a local resident with political background had also made construction on the university land.

The inhabitants of the villages inside the varsity premises have already been compensated for their land, but they are still reluctant to vacate.

An official of the varsity said that illegal occupants had become a threat to security and development in the university, recalling that construction of a hostel had also been recently stopped by the illegal occupants. Construction of an academic block and another hostel also remained suspended for years due to intervention of the illegal occupants, the official revealed.

The official added that despite repeated request for on-ground demarcation and vacant possession of the university, land was not given by CDA to the institution. The QAU administration last month also wrote a letter to CDA for demarcating the land again, however; the authority did not respond.

The letter stated, “It was requested to direct the revenue and planning staff of CDA to fix a date for a joint visit of the university land for verification of the survey carried out by Survey of Pakistan. But it is regretted that despite our repeated reminders, no action has been taken so far in this regard”.

The letter said that a copy of the survey report on boundary demarcation of the QAU submitted by the Survey of Pakistan was being forwarded. “It is also once again requested to kindly fix a date of the meeting of the joint working group at CDA or QAU so that the land issues of the university are discussed in light of the survey report submitted,” said the letter.

The Survey of Pakistan in its latest report demarked 155.12 acres of land inside the boundary line against the allocated 1,709 acres.

The QAU official said that the CDA and the university administration had constituted a joint working group in 2016 to resolve the issue but no practical steps for acquiring the land had been taken.

“The SOP will issue its final report after joint verification of the fresh on-ground demarcation with the CDA but no meeting is being called to resolve the issue,” said the official.

Vice Chancellor QAU Dr Javed Ashraf while talking to The Nation said that the joint working group from the CDA side did not cooperate as was being expected by the university administration.

“Encroachments are still going on and the university staff members are threatened by villagers when directed to vacate the land,” he said.

The VC also hinted at possible political patronage of the encroachers.

Chairman National Assembly Standing Committee on Federal Education Col (R) Amirullah Marwat said that the way the QAU land was being encroached, one day the encroachers would also grab the VC office. He said that the committee would take measures for demolishing the illegal constructions after reviewing the matter.