Pakistan News

Karachi airport's demarcation map changed multiple times for alleged land occupation: FIA probe

Karachi airport's demarcation map changed multiple times for alleged land occupation: FIA probe

A probe by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has revealed that the boundary of the Civil Aviation Authority's (CAA's) land at Karachi's Jinnah International Airport (JIAP) was shifted multiple times in the past in connivance with CAA and revenue department officials, purportedly to illegally occupy the property.

According to FIA officials and documents reviewed by, demarcation maps for the land in question were created several times on the basis of "mala fide intentions" to encroach upon the property.

In a statement issued on Monday, an FIA spokesperson said two first information reports (FIRs) had been registered in relation to the case by the agency's Corporate Crime Circle and a total of 32 suspects had been nominated in both the cases. The suspects include former federal minister retired Capt Haleem Siddiqi, former Karachi administrator Saqib Soomro, East Deputy Commissioner Muhammed Ali Shah, revenue department officials and others.

These details were also confirmed to Dawn by FIA Karachi Director Amir Farooqi on Sunday, who said the FIRs had been registered on behalf of CAA Additional Director Jafar Abbas Cheema.

Among the suspects, three CAA officials — former senior estate officer Zareen Gul Durrani, erstwhile assistant manager estate Mohammed Yunus and former general manager estate Syed Mohammed Kaleem — and one private person named Mushtaq were arrested in raids carried out on Saturday.

According to the FIRs, the land acquisition for Jinnah International Airport in Malir, then East district, was initiated in 1976 and the property was allocated to the CAA in 1983. The property comprised 78 acres of private land and 209 acres of state land. Subsequently, demarcation maps for the land were prepared in 1983, 1995, 2000, 2008, 2012 and 2019, revealing that relevant revenue officials had been changing the boundary of the CAA land on the basis of "mala fide intention" to pave the way for the "illegal creation of new survey numbers" and "illegal relocation of survey numbers", allegedly to usurp the property.

“Zareen Gul Durrani, the then JIAP estate officer, Jahanzeb Khan and Mohammed Ali, the then senior surveyor at JIAP, have signed the said fabricated demarcation maps and also issued an NOC (no-objection certificate) without concurrence from the law officer and approval from the competent authority,” the FIRs, available with, said.

One of the FIRs pertains to an attempt by unidentified persons to illegally occupy five acres of the CAA land in April 2021, "on the false presumption that the Survey No 575 and 576 in NA-Class 153 Deh Mehran have been relocated" on the said land. According to the FIR, the attempt was made by East Deputy Commissioner Muhammed Ali Shah but was stopped by an airport manager.

This case has been registered against 11 suspects.

The FIR further stated that Capt Haleem Siddiqui claimed that he had purchased the said land from one Ayesha Mohammed Khan in 1993 for his company Epic Air Pvt. Ltd and the same was regularised by the land utilisation (LU) department.

The FIA said records revealed that Ayesha had purchased 62 acres of land in Deh Narather in Karachi's West district, while the LU was given 84 acres in lieu of the 62 acres.

However, the record file of the LU showed that the outward number did not appear in the summary sent to the Sindh chief minister by Ghulam Abbas Soomro, the then LU secretary, to this effect, the agency said.

“The officers of LU department confirmed in their statements that the summary without any outward number seems to be fake/bogus/suspicious,” according to the FIA investigation.

The said officers also told the FIA that two letters with signatures of late Soomro did not "tally with each other".

Subsequently, then-LU special secretary Nazar Mohammed Leghari also confirmed that the summary without outward register should be treated as "fake/fabricated/suspicious".

Despite this, the FIA said the then LU secretary Khalid Mehmood Soomro regularised five acres of land in favour of Epic Air Co.

The second FIR also pertains to the illegal occupation of the airport land, in which 23 suspects have been nominated.

The FIA stated in the FIR that the Supreme Court had imposed a ban on the transaction of state land in 2012 and despite this development, then-LU secretary Saqib Soomro had issued a letter to Arsalan Khalid, who is the sub-attorney of one of the suspects arrested in the case, for the regularisation of four acres of land. Subsequently, revenue department officials and CAA officials allegedly illegally and with mala fide intention created a survey number in favour of Khalid by "overlapping CAA land on the basis of a fake initial sketch knowingly during the ban period", the FIR said.

The FIR also mentions that a man named Nabi Bux had claimed the ownership of this piece of land in 1992 and filed an application in this regard to the then Sindh chief minister. The chief minister had then sought a summary from the LU department and two summaries were subsequently moved, the records of which are missing.

According to the FIA, there were no "complete identifying particulars, NIC number, etc., of the applicant Nabi Bux" available.

The FIA found during the investigation that one of the summaries, including an approval note by the erstwhile chief minister and marked to a member of the LU department, was a photocopy. The approval note by the chief minister attached to it, however, was found to be original.

The other summary, sent to the then LU minister, was found to be originial.

Revenue officials told the FIA that "outward registers dated from 1990 to 2007 were burnt in a fire incident in the office of the Board of Revenue, Karachi in 2008, due to which the revenue office is unable to verify the genuineness of the summary", according to the FIR.

The FIA, meanwhile, said efforts were made to verify the same from records in the summary section of the office of the Sindh chief minister and its in-charge "confirmed that the record of the summary in question is not available in the summary section of the Chief Minister's secretariat."

"However, it has been established from the reply/record of the government's treasury department as well as the NBP (National Bank of Pakistan) that fake/forged challans were submitted for the payment of the occupancy value of the land," the FIR stated.

Similar News
Recent News
Back to top