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Pakistan: Hundreds of acres of Army land given as bribe to JUI

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The Jang

Akram Durrani admits his people got it; JUI spokesman denies; Qazi Hussain shocked

By Ansar Abbasi

ISLAMABAD: The mystery behind General Pervez Musharraf's success in convincing Maulana Fazlur Rehman of the JUI in 2004 not to oppose his uniform has been partially solved - the general had doled out hundreds of acres of military land worth millions of rupees to the near and dear ones of the Maulana.

Documents of these land allotments obtained by The News explain why the Muttahida Majlis Amal (MMA) always remained a friendly opposition to General Pervez Musharraf, bailed him out at critical times and why its JUI-led provincial government was able to complete a five-year term in the NWFP.

The scale of the buyout price of the JUI, which has now been confirmed, is massive in terms of state land and money paid to the JUI leaders and their relatives.

It is not clear whether the Pakistan Army could actually cancel these allotments of its lands to relatives of a politician even if it wanted to.

Musharraf's dubious promise of taking off his uniform by December 2004 was first quietly accepted by the MMA and then when he went back on his promise the JUI-led MMA never created any problem, except for low-level noises made off and on for public consumption.

This was done all because JUI's Maulana Fazlur Rehman had been allotted hundreds of acres of state land, mostly in the name of his relatives, staff and employees. Documents of these allotted lands, now in the possession of The News, reveal the blatant corruption of the JUI leaders, who use Islam to fool the people but never stop from compromising themselves and their principles for material and monetary gains.

The ousted dictator is now known to have secretly allotted 1,200 Kanals of military land in D I Khan to his opposition leader in the last National Assembly Maulana Fazlur Rehman and his chief minister in the NWFP Akram Khan Durrani in 2004.

Though the military land was transferred in the names of those who are either closely related to these two JUI-F leaders or are their relatives, the Revenue Department in DI Khan confirmed that both these leaders had at least 600 Kanals each in their personal possession.

A senior member Board of Revenue in the Frontier government was also allotted 400 Kanals of the same land for his role in this highly controversial allotment from the land earmarked for soldiers, who are given this land for their services and in line with the policy derived by the GHQ.

The allotment letters, relating to 1200 Kanals, were issued by the Army's General Headquarters Adjutant General (Welfare and Rehabilitation Directorate), Rawalpindi under the signatures of Lt-Col Muhammad Zafar on behalf of the adjutant general and countersigned by Brigadier DWR-I Zafar Iqbal Shah on Oct 23rd 2004 - a little over two months prior to the deadline set for Musharraf's stepping down as Army chief.

Maulana Fazlur Rehman could not be reached for comments despite all efforts. However, his party spokesman categorically said that there was no truth in this and that it was a vilification campaign launched against the party and its leader.

The spokesman said that the land was neither allotted in the name of the two leaders nor in the names of their close associates or relatives.

Former JUI chief minister Akram Khan Durrani, however, admitted that some of his close associates/relatives were allotted lands but he said he had nothing to do with those.

But the documents, available with The News, confirm that six men connected with Maulana Fazlur Rehman and Akram Durrani were allotted 200 Kanals each whereas a senior Revenue officer, serving in DI Khan, also acknowledged that the said land was actually in the possession of these two leaders.

Maulana Fazlur Rehman's main ally in the MMA at that time Qazi Hussain Ahmad of the Jamaat-e-Islami, when approached, said that he and his party did not have the hint of this wheeling and dealing.

The documents show that whole of this land was allotted in Rakh Ghass, Tehsil and district Dera Imail Khan where the provincial government had allotted almost 136,000 Kanals of land to the Pakistan Army for its scheme under which the officers and JCOs and their families are allotted agriculture land of different sizes on the basis of their performance, seniority, sacrifice etc under a well determined formula.

Adjutant General's Branch, W&R Directorate, in its six separate letters dated Oct 23, 2004 and clearly tagged as "restricted", allotted 200 Kanals of agriculture land in Rakh Ghass D I Khan to each of the following beneficiaries:

1. Abrar Ahmad Khan son of Muhammad Ismail Khan, street 41 Sector I-9/4 Jamia Masjid Farooq-e-Azam, Islamabad.

Generally known as Mufti Abrar, this allottee is the personal assistant of Maulana Fazlur Rehman. He has been allotted land in Khasra No 717, 716 and 715, the document shows;

2. Sharifullah son of Mr Rahmatullah, Mohallah Mehmood Khel, village Abdul Khel, district D I Khan. He is attached with the brother of the Maulana, Maulana Lutfur Rehman, and is considered as their family member. He has been allotted land in Khasra No 718, 719 and 720;

3. Muhammad Ramzan son of Mr Feroz Khan, Mohallah Mehmood Khel, village Abdul Khel district D I Khan. He is closely related to Sharifullah and is also close with the Maulanas. He was allotted land in Khasras No 715 and 714;

4. Ibrar Ali Shah son of Asghar Ali Shah, Mewa Khel, Fazal Haq Malwana, Bannu. He is cousin of Durrani, who admitted the same and asserted that his father is a retired soldier so the son got the land. He was allotted land in Khasra No 718, 719 and 720;

5. Muhammad Ashraf Ali Khan son of Muhammad Shahzad Khan, village Khutti, Tehsil and dist D I Khan. He is included in the personal staff of Maulana Fazlís brother Maulana Lutfur Rehman. He was allotted land in Khasra No 717, 716 and 715; and

6. Muhammad Shahzad Khan son of Alam Sher Khan, Hibak Sharzah Khan P/O Sikandar Khel Bannu. He is the uncle of Durrani as admitted by the former chief minister. Durrani said that his uncle was a retired soldier so was given land by the GHQ. Shahzad Khan was allotted land in Khasra No 715 and 714.

Following these allotment letters issued by the GHQ, the land was formally transferred by the concerned Revenue officer to the above mentioned on 26 January, 2005.

After the issuance of the allotment letters, the provincial government referred the case of Reayat Khan, the then senior member Board of Revenue, to the GHQ for the allotment of 400 Kanals of land in the same Moza for the officer, who had reportedly played an important role in getting 1200 Kanals transferred in favour of the men of JUI-Fís top leaders.

Though Maulana Fazlur Rehman was not accessible, party spokesman Maulana Amjad told this correspondent that this was all disinformation and aimed at maligning the name of the Maulana. He said that neither the land was transferred to the two top JUI leaders nor to any of their front men. Maulana Amjad said that they did not believe in the politics of opportunism.

Akram Durrani clarified that the land was actually allocated to the Pakistan Army before he took over as the chief minister of the province. He said that during his rule, he tried his level best to get the decision reversed but in vain. He denied that the land allotted in 2004 to his close men belonged to him.

He argued that his uncle was allotted plot because he was a retired soldier whereas his other relative was gifted 200 Kanals because his father was in the Army.

"I have nothing to do with all this," he said. Durrani, when asked about Maulana, said that he would not respond on behalf of his party head.

The former chief minister of the Frontier province suggested to this correspondent that the media should focus on what is going on in Islamabad. When asked if he was the beneficiary of the four Agro-plots that the CDA was recently pressurized to allot, he said that it was just media gossip.

A senior district Revenue official, serving in the D I Khan, however, said that the land in question was in possession of the Maulana and Durrani. He said he did not know under what law the then Army chief had made this allotment because such a military land was only allotted to army officers and NCOs or to the families of the martyred.

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