New Islamabad Airport NIIA - Land Acquired

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said on Wednesday it has already acquired physical control of the entire land purchased for the New Islamabad International Airport project and completed the fencing around it.

“Not even a single inch of the land is under the possession of private parties,” CAA spokesman Pervez George told The News. Asked as to why the land remained under the illegal occupation of the private parties since 1985 despite the CAA having paid the price for 3,250 kanals of land, the CAA spokesman repeated his earlier stance, saying: “We can assure you that the entire land has already been taken over by the CAA.”

Much before acquiring additional land of 345 kanals in Chak Fattu for the construction of the New Islamabad International Airport (NIIA) through a real estate agent at inflated prices, President Musharraf could not fulfil his desire to inaugurate the project in January 2004 as the already acquired land of 3,250 kanals was still not in the physical possession of the CAA despite the fact that it had already paid the entire land price.

This revelation has been made by the chairman of the purchase committee of the CAA Brig (R) Pervez Nawaz Bashir in his statement recorded before the Board of Inquiry (BoI), constituted by the Ministry of Defence to probe the purchase of 345 kanals additional land in August 2006 by the CAA through a real estate agent at inflated prices.

Therefore, Brig Pervez Nawaz says in his statement, the groundbreaking ceremony of the NIIA, which was scheduled for January 2004 on the desire of Musharraf, had to be postponed. The case has already been taken up before the Supreme Court of Pakistan. Similar views were also expressed by the former Secretary Defence Lt Gen (R) Tariq Waseem Ghazi in his written reply before the BoI.

Although Musharraf’s earnest desire to perform the groundbreaking ceremony of the NIIA did materialize two years later in August 2006, it led to a controversy when 345 kanals additional land was purchased through a middleman for the same project. In a subsequent probe conducted by the BoI had concluded that it was actually Musharraf’s desire to perform the groundbreaking ceremony at the earliest that eventually led to a speedy buying of the additional land at a rate which later became controversial.

Report By: Abdul Sattar Khan


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