ISLAMABAD, Oct 31: Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday gave Capital Development Authority (CDA) two days to remove an illegal kiosk in Shalimar Park, sector F/7-3, allegedly set up by a brother of the federal interior minister.
The court passed the order while hearing a public interest petition filed by Barrister Jahangir Khan Jadoon seeking removal of the encroachment from the residential and commercial sectors of the federal capital.
Earlier on June 12, the court had directed the CDA directorate of enforcement to clear the city from encroachments and had sought a compliance report in this regard.
Subsequently, CDA counsel Nazir Jawwad submitted the compliance report.
Justice Siddiqui after examining the report noted: `The directorate of municipal administration (DMA) had issued permission for establishment of `tuck shop` to M/s Moon Star Khalid, a company admittedly owned by Khalid Malik, the real brother of interior minister (Rehman Malik), who sold it out to Mohammad Zaheer, obviously with the collaboration of CDA.
The court further observed: `A common perception about this tuck shop is that the transfer in the name of above-mentioned person (Zaheer) was in fact benami (fictitious) and business is being carried out by Mr Khalid Malik.
The judge expressed his concern when the CDA counsel informed him that the civic agency was helpless in retrieving the encroached land of Shalimar Park as the encroachers not only refused to receive the CDA notice but also warned the CDA officials of dire consequences.CDA counsel claimed before the court that in the last few months, the authority had removed 227 encroachments from 10 sectors of Islamabad and confiscated 3,386 items.
Barrister Jadoon, on the other hand, told the court that the authority had removed the encroachments in a discriminatory manner,adding that it had spared influential persons.
`CDA is reluctant to take action against Khalid Malik because his brother is a powerful minister.
Vice Admiral (retired) Ahmed Tasnim, a resident of sector F/7-3 who had filed a petition in an identical matter, told Dawn that Khalid Malik himself supervised the affairs of the tuck shop and converted it to a restaurant.
`He grabbed almost two kanals in the park and turned a large part into a sitting area for his restaurant,` Mr Tasnim claimed adding, `the staff of the restaurant not only tried to intimidate the local residents but also extended threats to the owners of other restaurants in the area.
Meanwhile, when Dawn contacted Khalid Malik, he said that he had never applied for a permit for a tuck shop, kiosk or site for the restaurant.
`CDA might have prepared fake records against me because certain elements wanted to defame me, since I am a brother of a sitting minister,` he said.
`Allotment of kiosks is a peripheral matter and being a brother of a minister and a person of a worthy family, it does not suit me to get myself involved in such sort of assignments,` he insisted.
When Dawn contacted CDA spokesman Ramzan Sajid on the matter, he replied that the court order would be implemented in letter and spirit and the authority would act upon the court directives within the given time-frame.
He said the authority is already working on a strategy to remove encroachments from the city and to restore the natural and scenic beauty of Islamabad.
CDA sources, however, told Dawn that CDA member estate soon after receiving the court order directed the enforcement staff to remove encroachments from the park by Thursday morning.