Islamabad (Staff Report/Agencies): The joint investigation team (JIT) formed to probe Pakpattan land scam on Tuesday informed the Supreme Court that then chief minister of Punjab Nawaz Sharif illegally transferred the shrine land in 1985.
A bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar heard a case pertaining to the transfer of 14,000 kanals of land of the Pakpattan shrine to Dewan Ghulam Qutab in 1985. Nawaz was the then-chief minister of Punjab province when the land in question was transferred.
JIT head Hussain Asghar further informed the court that land that was originally set out for Hujra Shah Mukeem and Darbar Hafiz Jamal was also illegally allotted.
“The first inquiry report submitted in 2015 held the then-chief minister responsible, however, in 2016 another report was prepared and the then provincial chief minister’s name was removed from it,” the JIT head informed the court.
At this, the chief justice remarked, “That time is now over. A third report will not be prepared.”
The chief justice said the land was illegally allotted in 1986 and reiterated that if an investigation is launched, no one will be able to save themselves. He also wondered how and why was the land allotted illegally while lamenting that “crooks” acquired the land and then sold it forward.
The chief justice also set a two-week deadline for replies from the Punjab Government and the former prime minister.
In October, the top court directed Sharif to submit his reply in the matter of withdrawal of the notification, concerning the Auqaf property attached with the shrine.
In response to the court’s order, Sharif stated that he did not recall having ever passed any such order. The bench had termed Sharif’s reply vague and asked him to personally come and explain as to why he had de-notified the notification.
In 2015, the then chief justice Nasirul Mulk, while hearing a matter related to the land dispute, took suo motu notice of the illegal allotment of the land of the shrine of Hazrat Baba Faridud Din Masud Ganj Shakar, in 1985.