Chinese Citizens Running Illegal Businesses under the Umbrella of CPEC in Islamabad: Senate Standing Committee
ISLAMABAD: The Senate Standing Committee on Interior has accused the Chinese citizens of doing illegal business under the umbrella of China Pakistan Economic corridor (CPEC) in the residential areas of Islamabad, but the Capital Development Authority (CDA) are completely silent on the issue.
The committee meeting chaired by Senator Rehman Malik was also attended by the federal capital’s top officials.
Malik said the Chinese citizens living in the Diplomatic Enclave had chosen the residential sectors of Islamabad for businesses.
It’s pertained to mentioned that under the CDA building control laws, doing commercial activities in residential areas are illegal.
Senator Sheikh Atique said the Chinese, while using the name of CPEC for their illegal business, were selling alcohol in the residential sectors of Islamabad since long.
The Islamabad police last year had arrested some Chinese citizens over their involvement in prostitution.
Malik lamented the poor performance of CDA, questioning how the foreigners were running businesses in Islamabad illegally and the city managers had been doing.
He sought information as to how many houses in residential areas are still being used for commercial activities. He also directed the Ministry of Interior and the CDA to conduct a survey as to how many foreigners are living in different residential areas of the capital.
The Senate panel also discussed the anti-encroachment operation against The Centaurus and asked the CDA officials about their role when the premier shopping mall was violating the Islamabad laws, as the building had been completed and started commercial activities since long.
The Senate Standing Committee on Interior also considered the matter of demolishing buildings near Islamabad Airport, Kashmir Highway, Islamabad. Malik directed that action should be taken those who showed criminal negligence in the past and allowed these illegal structures.
He also said that a detailed survey should be conducted by CDA in Islamabad on demolished buildings, Christian colonies and other plots for the multi-story buildings, with the report to be submitted to the committee within one month. He said the homes should not be demolished in the slums until the residents were provided with alternate shelters and unless a prior notice was served to them at least 3 months before.
CDA Chairman Amer Ali Ahmed briefed the meeting that the demolition process was part of the anti-encroachment drive.
The committee members observed that the anti-encroachment drive had caused harm to the poor and a report should be submitted as to how many buildings of the rich people had been demolished.
The author is a reporter based in Islamabad.