KARACHI: Bahria Town Karachi (BTK), undoubtedly, has become the biggest real estate scam in the history of Pakistan.
In addition to all the other illegal activities, such as land grabbing, Bahria Town Karachi (BTK) has cancelled hundreds of properties for which the buyers had already paid millions to notorious tycoon Malik Riaz.
Depressed customers of BTK can be seen venting at Bahria Town Karachi (BTK) head office, while the apathetic and hooligan staff of BTK mistreat them.
Arshad Ali, one such customer at the head office, said his property had been cancelled and now he was running from pilar to post for the last three months to get the refund of Rs4.1 million approximately. “Only I know how I paid these instalments, just so an asset is made for my children. The property is cancelled, actually it never existed, while I am being humiliated and disgraced by the Bahria Town goons (staff). They promised 100% refund, but it’s been over three months, and I got nothing.”
The indigenous Sindhi and Baloch communities in Malir district were strong-armed into ‘selling’ their land — which they had lived on and cultivated since generations — for Bahria Town Karachi (BTK). They were relentlessly hounded by a two-pronged assault. On the one hand, the Malir police, under SSP Rao Anwar at the time, carried out raids on the goths and booked locals on fake terrorism charges; on the other, Bahria personnel, threatened and intimidated them.
Bahria Town Karachi has cancelled hundreds of properties, and the owners are completely helpless.
Moreover, the owners whose properties have not been cancelled, are slapped with notices demanding 35% of the property value as development charges, which is in absolute violation of the terms and conditions of the sale purchase agreement.
Fahad Iqbal, another BTK customer, said the instalments he paid were titled ‘land and development charges’, and now they have sent another schedule of ‘development charges’. “I am convinced Malik Riaz is above the law, even the government is helpless against him.”
A senior citizen at BTK head office said she had paid all the instalments along with possession charges and utility connection charges for her 200 square yards vila, and when she approached to take the keys of her property, she was given another demand note of Rs1.7 million.
“How can I pay this money which they never mentioned had to be paid.”
It may be mentioned here the National Accountability Bureau has filed a reference against real estate tycoon Malik Riaz and many others for illegal allotment of an amenity plot in Karachi’s Clifton area where the Bahria Town built Pakistan’s tallest building, Bahria Icon Tower.
Depressed customers of Bahria Town appealed to Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Bajwa and Chief Justice of Pakistan to take notice of the situation.