ISLAMABAD - The city administration defying its own tall claims of retrieving all encroached land of the Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU) has stopped its anti-encroachment drive at university, officials said on Saturday.

Sources informed The Nation that the administration has apparently taken a U-Turn from taking the drive to its end, while university administration is worried about the delay in the operation.

A senior official reliably told The Nation that the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) and Capital Development Authority (CDA) have ‘stopped’ the anti-encroachment drive at varsity.

“There is no operation on ground by the city administration and university was given a peanut out of its big chunk of land encroached,” official said.

Official said that tall claims of the top city administration have faded and gradually it is vanishing from the university without achieving its target now.

Official also added that the administration has moved a major part of its force including machinery from the university, which reflects that it is slowly ending its operation.

Sources said that the university administration has been also signalled to compromise on the situation after local elected representatives and other strong elements started neutralizing the anti-encroachment drive.

“The university administration is now being blamed that it damaged the property and fields of the encroachers,” said the official.

Sources said that the city administration’s operation only helped in retrieving open land, ending illegal fences and some harvested land.

“Not even 200acres piece of land has been recovered by the city administration in 18 days long anti encroachment operation,” said the official.

Official said that the city administration’s stance is tilted towards the local elected representatives who have political interests with the local population.

“Practically nothing has been achieved in the operation and the city administration has withdrawn its support from the university,” official said.

Official also said that the city administration has also eliminated the role of QAU from the ministerial committee formed to resolve the QAU land issue.

The letter issued by ministry of interior on implementation of encroachment drive also does not include any name of the official from QAU.

It said that “The ministerial committee, during its last meeting held on 11th January 2019, was pleased to direct that ICT, CDA and QAU shall sit and resolve the related issues of QAU area, in close coordination, and submit recommendations to the committee in its next meeting,”.

It said that in the follow-up, the next meeting of the ministerial committee was scheduled on January 21 and will discuss and decide upon the related issues of encroachment in QAU.

The letter was distributed to federal minister for National Health Services (NHS), special assistant to Prime Minister on CDA affairs Ali Nawaz Awan, member National Assembly (MNA) Raja Khurram Shahzad Nawaz, and special secretary ministry of interior, chief commissioner ICT, chairman CDA, Inspector General and metropolitan MCI Syed Najaf Iqbal.

Official said that the QAU officials were invited in the first meeting but ignored in the second one despite the university was the major stakeholder in the issue.

The QAU out of its 1709acres land allotted was facing shortfall of 450acres land in total. In the breakup of 450 acres land, 298 was occupied by encroachers while 152 was not allotted to the university.

QAU Vice-Chancellor (VC) prof Dr Mohammad Ali Shah talking to The Nation said that anti-encroachment drive has though not ended, but it is stopped for last few days.

He said that the city administration has recovered and handed over around160acres of land to the university administration so far.

He also said that the ICT officials have completely not abandoned the operation and their staff is present in the university, which is an indication that operation has not ended yet.

However, QAU VC also said that the university with its own equipment and staff is holding the possession of the recovered land to save it from re-encroachment.

He said that the ICT administration will not leave the operation incomplete.

Spokesperson CDA Safdar Shah talking to The Nation said that ICT and CDA both were sharing the QAU land. He said CDA handed over the land in the initial days of the operation to the university.

“Few days back university itself tried to recover the encroached land,” he said.  

ICT and CDA had launched anti-encroachment drive at QAU on January 5 and claimed that the encroached land would be recovered till January 5.

ICT spokesperson Kamran Cheema was contacted for his response but he didn’t reply till filing of the story.

Administration had also claimed that it recovered 200acres university land from encroachers, a claim contradicted by the university administration.  

QAU Joint Action Committee (JAC) in its statement issued said that the illegal encroachments have become chronic threat to the security and development projects and always resist any new construction on the university’s own land.

The construction of Buildings of Academic Block-I and students hostels number 11-12 under the PSDP Projects remain suspended for years due to intervention and stay at lower courts of the illegal occupants.

It says the illegal occupation over 298 acres of QAU land has become major hindrance to cater the growing needs of more than 12,000 enrolled QAU students who hail from all the regions of Pakistan.