In an important development, The NAB summoned Mian Nawaz Sharif on Sunday, to make sure his presence on March 20, in connection with case against Mir Sahkeel-ur-Rehman. The NAB has alleged Nawaz Sharif for an illegal lease of 54-Kanal land to the owner of Jang group in 1986 when he was the chief minister of Punjab and therefore he (Sharif) is required to record his statement in this regard. This is important to know that NAB had taken Mir into its custody almost five days ago in the said case. As per sources, exemption of 54 plots of one Kanal each was given to Shakeel-ur-Rehman in Jauhar Town Lahore violating the relevant rules and laws.
“An exemption of maximum 15 plots can be given to a person and here is the issue of 54 plots”, NAB points out
The accountability court had handed over Mr Rehman to NAB on a physical remand of 12-days some four years ago. On Thursday, he recorded his statement before the joint investigation team of NAB at Thokar Niaz Baig, Lahore, for more than two hours. As per NAB sources, Shakeel-ur-Rehman was arrested due to his failure to satisfy the authorities in question-answer session and therefore he was taken into bureau’s lock up.
The policy of Lahore Development Authority (LDA) states that a person can maximum avail the exemption of 15 plots and not more than it however an exemption of 54 plots was given to the owner of Jang group. This illegal allotment made the things fishy and therefore a 70% surrender was required. Mir Shakeel-ur-Rehman was also asked whether any payment was made for the land of two streets that had been allotted to him as an excess land of the Lahore Development Authority (LDA). As per rules and regulations, nobody could purchase the land of common passage and this is important to know that the sale deed of all the 54 plots was made in favor of his wife and children as the holder of general power of attorney of Mr. Hidayat Ali. They transferred those plots to Shakeel-ur-Rehman that were located in the form of three poackets at different locations instead of being at one and same place. However, Mir Shakeel had told the NAB team last week that the purchase of the said plots was made from a private party and no intervention of LDA was involved in the said deal; therefore there was nothing that could be termed as “illegal”.
“Don’t mix the arrest of a Seth with attack on Journalism, advises the Government
The journalist community organized a protest in front of Chaman Press Club, Balochistan calling this arrest a political attack on the journalism and media. They were accompanied by a large number of people representing the political parties and civil society. They were having placards in their hands with different types of slogans mentioned in favor of Jang and Shakeel.
The Britain Parliamentarians strongly condemned the arrest of Chief of the Jang Geo Media Group Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman and declared the shutdown of Geo channel illegal and unlawful. The UK officials specially met Pakistani authorities to and urged them to immediately stop the illegal actions against the country’s largest independent media house. UK Minister of State for Foreign Office Lord Tariq Ahmed while expressing his concerns regarding the arrest tweeted, “Very concerned by reports of the arrest of Mir Shakil-ur-Rehman, the owner of Jang Media Group in Pakistan. The freedom to hold and express views without censorship, intimidation or unnecessary restriction is a cornerstone of democracy,”
Government on the other hand completely negated the arrest of the owner of Jang group as a political victimization calling it an ordinary matter of investigation of fraudulent activity of a “Seth (The Lord)” and nothing more than it. Moreover, the people are advised not to mix the arrest of “Seth” with an attack on Journalism.