ISLAMABAD: The Senate's Standing Committee on Defence has formed a sub-committee on the matter of occupation of land by army and air force in Quetta.
It was decided in a meeting which was held with Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed in the chair on Monday at Pakistan Institute of Parliamentary Services in Islamabad.
The committee was discussing the adjournment motion of Senators Muhammad Usman Kakar, Azam Khan Musakhel and Gul Bashra regarding the alarming rise in the occupation of land by military and air force in district Quetta causing disharmony among the people.
The body was told by an air force official that the air force is using land in Samungli as airbase, in Nohisar as Regi airfied and in Maslaikh as firing range.
He said that the lands was acquired in 1942, 1978 and 2008 respectively and all due procedure was followed and documents are also available.
He told the committee that air force intends to set up a city named Yunusabad in Quetta named after an Air Force captain Yunus on the pattern of city Rashidabad set up by air force in Sindh.
He added that the area and the facilities therein will be primarily aimed for the underprivileged and no benefits will be entertained to those related with Air Force.
The movers of the adjournment motion Senator Kakar and Senator Musakhel while giving their view said that there lies a difference in voluntary donation of land and forced occupation of land.
Senator Usman Kakar said that the land for Rashidabad was donated by the father of the late captain Rashid Khan while in case of the land in Quetta, it is being forcibly acquired. He said that much of the land in Balochistan is still undivided and is a collective property of the tribe. Senator Azam referred to three resolutions of the Balochistan Assembly which have in 1999, 2002 and 2014 condemned this forced occupation.
The committee also heard two land owners from Balochistan and after deliberation and suggestions from the members formed a sub-committee on the matter.
The body also passed a unanimous resolution praising the historic victory of Pakistan over India in ICC Champions Trophy final on Sunday.
The body appreciated the determination, tenacity and outstanding performance of the cricket team who defied all odds to win decisively.
Published in Daily Times, June 20th, 2017.