Federal Minister for Law and Justice Barrister Dr. Muhammad Farogh Naseem chaired a meeting on Abandoned Properties.

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Islamabad: Dr. Muhammad Farogh Naseem welcomed the Federal Minister for Privatization Muhammad Mian Soomro on his inclusion as member of the Committee.

The meeting was also attended by Federal Minister for Railway Azam Khan Swati, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan, Parliamentary Secretary for Law and Justice Barrister Maleeka Ali Bokhari, MNA Kishwar Zehra, MNA Usama Qadri, Senior Officers from Abandoned Properties Organization, Federal Investigation Agency and senior officers from other relevant Authorities.

Federal Secretary for Law and Justice Raja Naeem Akbar briefed the meeting on the data provided by the Abandoned Properties Organization on the instructions of the Law Minister issued in the last meeting.
The Federal Minister for Law and Justice, while issuing instructions to the representatives of Abandoned Properties Organization, said that the information provided is insufficient and therefore complete and comprehensive information should be provided within a week stating that where these properties were located and at what prices they were sold and what was their market values at that time, the names of officers of the Abandoned Properties Organization who were holding office at that time should also be provided and what decisions were taken at the time abandoned properties were sold/auctioned and under which auction rules those properties were sold.

Barrister Farogh Naseem reiterated his instructions to the Abandoned Properties Organization not to sell any Abandoned Property and asked the officers present in the meeting to inform their Boards of Revenue of the Provincial Governments about the decisions taken in the meeting otherwise, strict action will be taken against those responsible for the sale/auction of abandoned properties in future until a final decision is made.
Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan while expressing his views said that the first thing which has to be seen is that how many properties were auctioned, whether the due process was followed for auction, and was there any action taken to find the real owner of the properties.

Both Mr. Azam Khan Swati and Mr. Muhammad Mian Soomro were of the view that they would not tolerate any bungling in the Abandoned Properties and they would do all sundry to reverse any illegal processes. Mr. Muhammad Mian Soomro stated that in 1971 at the time of fall of Dhaka there was only One Unit. Therefore, the numerous agricultural properties claimed by the Government of Sindh is not appropriate. He maintained that the Abandoned Properties of Bangalies in Sindh cannot be the property of the Government of Sindh rather of the Federal Government for which lawful steps are required to be taken.

Mr. Azam Khan Swati agreed with Mr. Muhammad Mian Soomro and added that similar was the case with Railways properties. M/s Azam Khan Swati, Muhammad Mian Soomro, Ali Muhammad Khan and Barrister Maleeka Ali Bokhari stressed that Beharies who had left East Pakistan after the debacle in 1971 were devout Pakistanis and the PTI Government was all set to take corrective steps so as to eradicate injustices to all segments of the society including the Beharies, in terms of principles of International Law.
Mr. Usama Qadri and Ms. Kishwar Zehra were categorical that the principles of International Law had been violated and more than that the Government of Sindh had tackled the matter in a non-transparent manner.

In the end, Dr. Farogh Naseem thanked every participant and stated that he will ensure that the Committee formulates its recommendations strictly in consonance with the law, Constitution and principles of International Law.

The next meeting of the committee will be held after two weeks.

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