KP chief minister orders probe into police ‘occupation’ of Nathiagali rest house

Police rest house in Nathiagali

ISLAMABAD: The caretaker chief minister of Khyber Pakhunkhwa has ordered an inquiry into the alleged occupation of a lased rest house by the provincial police in Nathiagali.

Sources said that the KP chief minister secretariat has written a letter to the chairman provincial inspection team with regard to the alleged police harassment and violation of the contractual rights of the rest house in Nathiagali.

The KP chief minister has ordered a fact-finding inquiry into the case and submit a report at the earliest.

On January 16, the federal interior ministry had also directed the KP police chief and the ministry of tourism to conduct an inquiry into the matter and furnish a comprehensive report as earliest. The KP police chief is yet to submit a report on the alleged occupation of the rest house by the police, sources said.

Sources said that M/s Apical Ways Limited, which is managing the affairs of the leased police rest house, has expressed serious concern over a letter of the KP Culture and Tourism Authority which had directed the company to submit a reply within seven days on the allegation of occupying extra land than the leased one.

The company said that the show-cause notice has been issued after a lapse of a significant time from the date of the signing of the lease agreement during which no such objections were raised.

In addition, the company replied to the KP tourism department that the “illegal possession” claim of the KP police department just after a week of the issuance of the notice and the subsequent issuance of the official letter raises concerns about the influence on the decision making process.

The company alleged that the KP police department has trespassed and illegally occupied 2 annexes. It said that instead of conducting an on-site assessment to address and resolve the matter, the tourism department, under the influence of the police and interim minister, has chosen to issue it a notice without conducting proper investigation and understanding of the actual situation on the ground.

In June 2021, KP Sports, Tourism, Archaeology, Museums and Youth Affairs Department had leased out five government rest houses, including the police rest house in Nathiagali, for 15 years to a private company after completing codal formalities.

The Abbottabad police on December 29, 2023 allegedly manhandled staff of the company, entered into the police guest house and attempted to illegally occupy the property.

Earlier, RPO Haraza Muhammad Ijaz told Hum News English that the Tourism Authorities’ letter dated December 28 confirmed the suspicion of the KP police that the company holding the lease of the rest house had manipulated to occupy almost double the land than the leased area. He said that the total area of the police-owned land, as per revenue records, is 14 Kanals, while the lease granted was of 92 Marlas only.

He claimed that when the party sent for measurement, the company’s unlawful occupation was confirmed, besides serious violations of the lease agreement, including structural modifications, demolitions, cutting of precious trees, etc. Inquiries were initiated under the supervision of a judicial magistrate Abbottabad, which are under way, he said.

The RPO Haraza claimed that the company was awarded the lease through connivance with certain government officials.

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