Former Pakistan Army chief Raheel Sharif was at the centre of a controversy on Tuesday after official documents leaked to the media purportedly showed he had been allocated a large tract of land in Lahore.
According to the documents, which were circulated on social media and published by some newspapers, Sharif was gifted about 90 acres on Bedian Road in the capital of Punjab province through the army-controlled Border Area Committee.
This was reportedly done by the army without consulting the civilian government. The total value of the land has been estimated at Rs 1.35 billion.
Sharif was reportedly allotted 50 acres in line with his rank as a four-star general, and another 40 acres as the chief of army staff. The land is in Mauza Rukh Bathant, located on the western side of the BRB Canal and adjacent to Mauza Heear, close to the Indian border.
Media reports noted the allotment was done almost at the same time that Sharif had given the go-ahead for initiating proceedings against the brother of his predecessor, Gen Ashfaq Kayani, for alleged involvement in a multi-billion rupee land scam.
Experts said the allotment of land and distribution of other facilities to senior army officers is done directly by the army’s General Headquarters through the adjutant general, an officer of the rank of lieutenant general.
All Border Area Committees across Pakistan have the records of all the land along the frontier and these lands are given only to army officials.
The land given to Sharif was allotted by the Border Area Committee of Lahore. Its chairman, Col Tabish Sajid, refused to comment when contacted by the local media but did not contradict the report.
The scandal emerged at a time when there is renewed focus on revelations in the Panama Papers leaks about the family of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif owning offshore assets worth millions of dollars.