‘Pak govt selling thousands of acres of land in Balochistan to Arabs for hunting’

November 13th, 2010 - 6:39 pm ICT by ANI  

Quetta, Nov 13 (ANI): The Federal government of Pakistan is using its influence to get thousands of acres of land allotted and sold to Arab Sheikhs from the UAE for hunting, Balochistan Assembly Speaker Aslam Bhootani has claimed.

Addressing a news conference at the Quetta Press Club on Friday, Bhootani said that the provincial government had earlier taken back 70,000 acres of land from a federal government institution after a lot of efforts made by Chief Minister Aslam Raisani, but now the same prized land was being allotted to the oil Sheikhs for hunting, the Daily Times reported.

The land is located close to the Coastal Highway and in Lyari Tehsil where the government is building a dam or water reservoir, the biggest in Balochistan, the paper said.

“Arab sheikhs who occasionally visit the area for hunting purposes want exclusive control over the vast tract of valuable land. Now they want to set up their private buildings and airport,” said Bhootani, adding that he was on an official visit to India when the incident took place, and when he returned, he informed the chief minister regarding the matter, who then stopped the summery from being issued.

“If I will not protect the interests of the people then there is no justification for me to remain in office or be a member of the assembly,” Bhootani said.

“We acknowledge the efforts made by the PM to address the grievances of Balochistan, but it does not mean we can allow any one to sell our lands,” he added.

The speaker demanded the federal government or the PM office not to pressurise the provincial government on the issue because “we will not allow any one to become the owner of our land”.

Bhootani also appreciated the efforts made by Raisani, who intervened in the matter and stopped the summery. “I hope that the problem will be addressed amicably,” he added. (ANI)

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