Islamabad - Mounting political pressure on the high-ups of the Capital Development Authority has left CDA bigwigs with no option except to take a u-turn on the continuing anti-encroachment drive and allow the owner of a restaurant to shout at the enforcement staff right in the presence of the chairman of the civic body here on Tuesday.

Sources in the CDA told The Nation that the enforcement directorate on Tuesday demolished, what it viewed, an illegal restaurant at Sarya Chowk, G-8. Immediately after the operation, the owner of the Garden Cafe, a woman in her 40s, reached the chairman office along with a few of her well-wishers and threatened the chairman of dire consequences for demolishing the cafe. The chairman immediately called the Deputy Director Enforcement Ammad-ud-Din Mohammad who was in-charge of the operation and Deputy DG Enforcement Asia Gul to his office to clear their position on the matter. The DDG questioned his subordinate and warned him of suspension from service for daring demolish the cafe. Later, she virtually left his junior at the ‘mercy’ of the lady who claimed to be a close relative of the prime minister, said the sources.

The lady owner called names in the presence of the chairman and DDG enforcement as the two listened to all this quietly, the sources added.

When contacted, DD Enforcement Ammad told this scribe that he was called to the conference room around 3:30 in the evening to clear position on the job he was assigned earlier in the day. He lamented that the lady owner insulted and threatened him of dire consequences in the presence of the chairman and DDG enforcement but the two could not muster up courage to stop her. He was of the view that the top management of the authority always took a u-turn in selective cases whenever there was some political pressure on them viz-a-viz anti-encroachment campaign. “I was insulted… called names in the presence of the chairman but he played the role of a silent spectator,” he lamented.

The enforcement directorate of the CDA carried out a successful anti-encroachment campaign in the beginning until the high-ups at the CDA came under political pressure. The directorate is facing difficulties in carrying out operations due to shortage of resources, lack of police force and somersaults of the high-ups on the anti-encroachment drives. Sometimes, the CDA officers are implicated in the FIRs on political pressure.

Some of the vehicles of the directorate are under the use of other officers of the CDA and it gets very difficult for it to go with the assigned job. The DMA is yet to provide the enforcement directorate a clear list of illegal kiosks in the city so the enforcement directorate could take action against them despite repeated efforts, the sources added.