ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Imran Khan has asked the governor and chief minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to mobilise the anti-corruption department in curbing the institutional corruption in the province.

Well-placed sources informed that the Prime Minister issued these instructions on complaints that influential people in the province in connivance with the revenue departments had grabbed 90 percent of the state land in the province through forgery. The sources said, the prime minister asked the governor and the chief minister to check the land records of each district of the province of the land registered under the sub-title Banger and Qadeem (old and barren) land commonly known as ‘Shamlaat’ and immediately take steps for retrieving of the state land.

The sources further said that thousands of acres of state land falling under this category have been transferred in the names of influential people in each union council in connivance with the staff of local revenue department through change of ‘Khasra Numbers’ of the Banjer and Qadeem lands.

The prime minister also asked the PTI government to check how many government buildings constructed in the name of schools, dispensaries and Patwaar Khaanas in the union councils have also been taken over by the influential people.

The Prime Minister’s directives are important especially after he has recently pledged to ensure rule of law and bring those to account who had grabbed the government properties as well as state land in the province.

On the other hand, critics claim bad governance in the province arguing that the anti-corruption establishment remains a dormant entity since January 22, 2019 when a group of Patwaris had allegedly manhandled a judge of civil court and officials of Anti-Corruption Department in district Nowshera.

However, despite registration of a First Information Report (FIR)  in the Azakhel Police Station, the powerful officials of the revenue department, who were arrested red handed by the officials of anti-corruption department for taking bribe to transfer such land, got free on the intervention of the then chief minister.