PM tells Punjab, KP to retrieve 26,000 kanal land from grabbers in Bhakkar

By: News Desk      Published: 08:52 PM, 14 Feb, 2021
PM tells Punjab, KP to retrieve 26,000 kanal land from grabbers in Bhakkar
–File photo

Prime Minister Imran Khan has directed the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government to immediately carry out an operation and retrieve the 26,000 kanal state land from illegal occupants in the Bhakkar District

Dera Ismail Khan’s Forests Department will carry out the operation within the next few days to vacate the grabbed land worth billions of rupees. 

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government had bought thousands of acres of land in Punjab’s Bhakkar District in 1978 at the time of construction of Darya Khan Bridge. Later, grabbers took hold of 26,000 kanals of the land owned by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government, and started cultivating this land in connivance with the government departments responsible for taking care of this land. Now the prime minister has told the Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa governments to immediately retrieve this land from the illegal occupants so that olive oil trees could be planted on this land. 

According to sources, Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa governments would carry out a joint operation in the next few days to retrieve the land owned by the Communications and Works Department that has been in grabbers’ use for the last 30 years. In the last tenure of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, this land was handed over to the Forests Department for the Billion Tree Tsunami Project. 

The then Forests Secretary Nazar Hussain Shah and District Forests Officer Moosa Khan Baloch had got around 10,000 kanals of this land retrieved from grabbers and planted trees there. As soon as Nazar Shah was transferred and Moosa Khan Baloch retired from service, influential land grabbers took over the land again. Now an operation is being planned to retrieve this land from the grabbers once again and plant olive oil forests there. 

Keeping in view the prime minister’s instructions, the Dera Ismail Khan district forests officer held a meeting with the deputy commissioner of Bhakkar and finalised a plan to retrieve the land from the grabbers by launching an operation in the Rehman Wali Village first. Sources say Dera Ismail District Forests Officer Shahid Noor and SDFO Amin-ul-Islam have been tasked with retrieving the land from the grabbers. 

According to reports, Prime MinisterImran Khan will visit this land soon and inaugurate a forest of olive oil trees on this land.