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Pakpattan land case: ACE team interrogates Nawaz

Pakpattan land case: ACE team interrogates Nawaz
July 30, 2019
LAHORE (92 News) – The Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) team interrogated former premier Nawaz Sharif in a case pertaining to the Pakpattan shrine land scandal on Tuesday at Kot Lakhpat jail. According to the reports, the team handed over a questionnaire consisted on 10 questions to Nawaz Sharif in prison and quizzed the former premier. “The documents are 34-years-old. I do not remember anything,” replied Nawaz. The probe team asked him if he gave an advertisement in the newspaper regarding the allotment. “On what grounds was the land allotted and which officers issued the orders for the allotment,” asked the NAB team. The former prime minister reiterated that he did not remember as the case was decades old. “I had fulfilled all the legal requirements but I do not remember the details. I had worked under the parameters of the law and the constitution and never misused my authority. I have always served the country,” said Nawaz. The three-member team led by ACE Sahiwal Director Shafqatullah inquired Nawaz Sharif. Earlier, the ACE formed a team consisting of Assistant Director Investigation ACE Sahiwal Ghazanfar, Assistant Director Legal ACE Sahiwal Rashid Maqbool and Inspector HQ ACE Sahiwal Zahid Ali. It is noteworthy that the JIT had constituted a team to probe the Pakpattan shrine land case against Nawaz, holding him responsible for “illegally transferring” the shrine land when he was the chief minister of Punjab in 1985. Earlier, the anti-corruption department has requested the jail authorities to let its officials to record the statement of the Pakistan Muslim Legaue-N quid in the land allotment case on July 30. The ACE has written the letter to the superintendent jail to make necessary arrangements to record Nawaz’s statement.
BACKGROUND OF CASE
After the Partition, Dewan Ghulam Qutab and his family used to be the ‘owners’ of the shrine’s land as per the revenue record from 1947 to 1958. The family sold the land to different people until Jan 1, 1970, when the Punjab government notified the Auqaf Department as the rightful owner of the land and Dewans, the custodian of the shrine. When Dewans moved the court, the Lahore High Court decided against them. In 1986, the government withdrew its 1970 notification and the Dewans reciprocated by withdrawing their appeal from the Lahore High Court against the decision. With this, the Dewans resumed their land selling business and the revenue department issued ownership rights (fard) to all buyers. In the meantime, a 1981 case regarding 17 marlas land filed in a civil court reached the Supreme Court by 2015. The apex court chief justice took suo motu of the land deals of the shrine and summoned officials of the Revenue and Auqaf departments and the Dewans. After some hearings, the Supreme Court declared notification of Aug 28, 1986, illegal and nullified all land deals done since then. The decision reportedly affected 100,000 residents of different localities. The Dewans filed a review petition with the Supreme Court against its 2015 decision which remained pending since then.