Bacha Khan Markaz Built on Government College's land

KARACHI:June 15: The Bacha Khan Markaz, party headquarter of Awami National Party (ANP) Sindh chapter, has been built on the encroached amenity plot of Abdul Hamid Badayuni Government Degree College Sceince and Commerce, also known as Badayuni college located near Banaras Chowk, now Bacha khan Chowk Karachi, documents available with Daily Times reveal.

The apex court of Pakistan, Karachi Building Control Authority, Sindh Revenue Board and other departments have declared encroachment on amenity plot illegal, where Bacha Khan Markaz is located. Due to the influential land mafia and their political sponsorship, officials of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) are unable to demolish the illegal construction on the occupied land of the college.

In 1962, Maulana Abdul Hamid Qadri Badayuni, activist of Pakistan Freedom Movement, had set up Jamia-Talimat-e-Islamiya under the Anjum-e-Tablighul Islam, a welfare trust, later on renamed Anjum-e-Taalimul Islam. The foundation stone of Jamia-Talimat-e-Islamiya was laid by the then President of Pakistan, General Ayub Khan. Currently, its Government Degree College Science and Commerce known as Badayuni college housed in dilapidated building of Jamia-Talimat-e-Islamiya operated by College Education Department Sindh.

The Badayuni College is the only state-run degree college for boys in Orangi Town, its reserved amenity land apart from a shabby building, has been occupied by land grabbers with cunning tactics whereas the occupied land has been sold out step by step for several times.

In 1962 and 63 the Karachi Municipal Corporation had allotted 15 acre piece of land, Plot No ST-I Block 5-B for the setting up an Islamic university on the pattern of Jamiatul Azhar, Egypt. Thus the plot was specified for the varsity and handed over to Anjum-e-Taalimul Islam, trust of the varsity.

Unfortunately, after the death of Maulana Badayuni, the trust could not manage the institution the right way resulting that the premises of the college been lessened from 15 acre to 1500 square yards. The trust even paid the government taxes and charges on the land but did not utilize the land for the purpose it was allotted for more than 35 years.

According to the Sindh Urban Land Ordinance 2002 "Amenity plot or site reserved for parks, gardens, playgrounds, graveyards, hospitals, schools, colleges, libraries, community centers, mosque or such other purpose would not be converted or utilized for any purpose for which it has been reserved. In 2003, the Sindh High Court has also declared that an amenity plot couldn't be used for other means even by special permission or by providing alternate place.

In 1997, an attempt was made by the land mafia, Haji Nasrullah Afghani and by the fake welfare trust which was formed on the same name of Anjum-e-Taalimul Islam and managed by Abid Qadri, to temper the land record and swallow up the amenity plot of Badayuni college. The Anjuman has however requested to the Deputy Commissioner (DC) of West Karachi, Navid Kamaran Baloch through its president to sub lease an area of the amenity plot. The DC approved Qadri's request but he was not authorized of the land for commercial purpose as per land grant policy 1975.

However, Land grabber Nasrullah built Pashtun Market caters more than 400 shops and other members of the mafia sold out plots to the residents of Faqir Colony, Metroville and to other residents of nearby areas where 5 to 8 plots were allotted to a single person.

The Master Plan of occupied amenity plot clearly shows Bacha Khan Markaz is also located on the same plot, built behind the Pashtun Market. "The provincial head quarter of ANP has been set up inside the premises of Jamia-Talimat-e-Islamiya and its on an amenity plot", encyclopedia of Maulana Abdul Hamid Qadri Badayuni also reveals, published in last year.

"The official map shows Pashtun Market which was constructed illegaly but due to the influence of land mafia and political pressure nobody is willing to take any action against it", pointed out by Shehri Foundation, a Non-Government Organization (NGO) working for environment and human development in the city, in a letter to the Director General of Pakistan Rangers, Commisioner Karachi, administration KMC and SBCA requested for demolishing Pashtun Market.

However, since the occupancy, a number of high ranked officials included commissioner Karachi, chief secretary, chairman Anti Corruption Establishment, education minister, labour miniter and other concerned authorities have declared the occupancy of plot illegal.

In this connection, a number of notifications, orders of demolishing, warnings and respites have been issued by public offices from time to time but the Anti-encroachment Cell is yet to demolish the encroachments on the amenity plot of Badayuni college despite the apex court has issued orders of demolishing since 2011 that such enrichments would be bulldozed within 30 days across city.

Earlier, in 2007 Karachi fell into the specific turmoil and after the incident of 12 May had occurred therefore the demolishing process were brushed aside because it would be considered as act of revenge at that time, Tahir Swati, Member of Shehri Foundation told.

On the other hand key leaders of ANP (both groups) believe that any of the Bacha Khan's enthusiasts couldn't be a companion of land mafia. "Bacha Khan was a great philanthropist and he had set up a school in a mosque, then Islamia High School, in his hometown of Utmanzai, Charsadda in 1910", Secretary General of ANP (Wali group) Qasim Jan said, that British rulers banned his schools in 1915 but Bacha Khan established another educational institute Anjuman-e Islah-e Afghania in 1921 and the Pashtun Jerga (youth movement) in 1927.

Similarly, he founded Pashto-language monthly political journal, the Pashtun in 1928 and finally he formed a Khudayi Khidmatgar 'Servant of God' movement in 1929 therefore an occupied land could not to be titled with name of Bacha Khan, he said with raising his eyebrows. "The authorities concerned to take effective measures for vacating the occupied land including Bacha Khan Markaz if it's located on the amenity plot".

"The present leadership of ANP claim to be the followers of Bacha Khan but in reality those self claimers of his political legacy couldn't endure Bacha Khan's vision for spreading education", Anwar Ali, resident of Banaras Chowk said, adding the political circumstances of Karachi known across the country for extortion, violence and land grabbing so the ANP can not push the party aside from such political scenario and some of the criminal minded leaders have even dragged the vision of Bacha Khan into the politics of violence as the followers of Bacha khan are on the footstep of criminal gangs.

However, central leader of ANP (Asfandyar group), Farooq Bangash says "Bacha Khan Markaz has been constructed since 2004 under the supervision of Qemos Gul Khatak, the then Secretary General of ANP and owner of Pashtun Market had donated half of the land to built the Markaz at that time"

He accepted the acceptation of gifted plot but denied its location on occupied amenity land of the college. He admitted that some of the party leaders bought a plot for the construction of Bacha Khan located near Pashtun Markaz but that was inadequate therefore the party accepted. "We have legal documents even the documents of lease" he stressed but did not answer that sub-lease of the Pashtun Market was illegal.

It is pertinent to mention here that 188 shops, built on an amenity plot situated on MA Jinnah Road were demolished by KMC's Anti-encroachment Cell last week in accordance with the decision of the apex court and the same orders were also for the illegal construction and occupied amenity plot of Badayuni college also but the concerned authorizes are reluctant to bulldoze it.The news.