Islamabad-The federal government on Tuesday decided to revise “master plan” of the federal capital in order the meet requirements of over 2 million people. The plan is being revised after 58 years since the establishment of Islamabad.

Prime Minister Imran Khan took the decision in a meeting that was attended by officials of the Capital Development Authority (CDA). Chairman CDA Afzal Latif and his team briefed the meeting about the issues of the capital.

Addressing a press conference along with Special Assistant to Prime Minister on CDA Affairs Ali Nawaz Awan at the Information Service Academy, State Minister of Interior Shehryar Khan Afridi announced PM’s decision to revise the master plan of Islamabad. “For this purpose, it has been decided to form a commission headed by an eminent expert having representation of all stakeholders,” he said. The commission will give basic framework of the revised master plan.

Afridi said that Prime Minister has directed that the master plan should be revised within three months to cater to all requirements of the capital. He said that PM has also directed to implement its earlier directions to establish model villages in the capital. However, Ali Nawaz Awan said that the commission can take six months to complete its work and added that the head of the commission will not be a government servant. “We will present a complete picture of new master plan after six months,” he said.

The state minister said that it was surprising that capital’s master plan was not revised since 1960 when the city was created. However, it had to be revised after every 20 years under the law. He said that the delay and inefficiency on part of the officials caused shortage of water in the city as well as de-forestation and affected the overall environment of the capital. He said that the capital failed to cater to increasing health, education and clean drinking water requirements of the population and an open licence was given to encroachment mafia in the city. “This is an attitude of state within state,” he said adding that delay in the revision of master plan was also causing blockade on major roads of city on daily basis. He also said that the government had retrieved 33000 kanals of land from Islamabad near Bahria Enclave, the development project of Bahria Town. He said that the government was ready to make public the record of this retrieved land if media had doubts over this claim.

 Ali Nawaz Awan speaking on the occasion said that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)’s federal government was determined to resume the beauty of the city as it was 30 years ago. He said that the master plan was made for a population of 0.6 million in the capital and could not meet the requirements of over 2 million people. He also said that the government had to pay compensation to the affectees of Islamabad. There is mushroom growth of unplanned settlings in the city, he added.

Nawaz stressed that that the master plan would not be amended rather revised as. He said that the government had no plan to demolish katchi abadis and because of the same reason, a plot of Pakistan Post was not retrieved in Sector G-7.  “We will not dislocate the poor until the announcement of our rehabilitation policy for them,” he said

Responding to a question about the alleged killing of Superintendent Police (SP) Tahir Khan Dawar who had gone missing from Islamabad and photographs of his killing have gone viral on social media, the state minister said that it was the age of technology and many photoshopped pictures were available on social media. However, he refused to comment on whether SP was alive or not. “This is a matter of national security and I cannot comment on it,” he said. Responding to another question, Afridi said that government was doing home work to identify those officials of CDA and Islamabad Police who have been involved in the encroachment of land and action would be taken against them. The supporters and promoters of these encroachers would not be spared,” he said. He also said that action would be taken against encroachment mafia even if these people either belong to PTI or any other political party.