Pakistan's powerful army, which is planning to shift its General Headquarters (GHQ) from Rawalpindi to Islamabad, will soon get over 1,000 acres of land in the capital city, according to a media report today.
The plan to shift the GHQ was shelved in 2008-09, at the instructions of then army chief Gen Ashfaq Pervez Kayani, due to financial constraints.
The army now wants possession of the land at the earliest so construction work can be started and the army headquarters can be moved to the federal capital, Dawn reported.
A decision in this regard was taken at a high-level meeting on December 19, chaired by Khushal Khan, Member Estate of the Capital Development Authority (CDA) and attended by the concerned CDA and the army officials of Defence Complex Islamabad (DCI).
The CDA provides municipal services in Islamabad capital territory.
"Almost all the issues between the CDA and the army were resolved during the meeting and the civic agency will soon be issuing allotment letter of the land," Khan was quoted as saying in the report.
During the meeting, issues related to the office complex, to be constructed on 138 acres, were discussed and it was decided that the CDA would waive off Rs 88 million ground rent as the civic body failed to hand over the possession of the land to the army, CDA officials were quoted as saying in the report.
A decision regarding 293 acres of land in D-11 was also taken and the CDA will now be issuing an allotment letter for this land in a week as possession of the land has already been handed over to the army, they said.
The CDA has allotted 870 acres of land in Zone III of the capital to the north of E-10 and D-11 to the DCI for the construction of an office complex for the GHQ, Joint Staff Head Quarters, Ministry of Defence (MoD) and the DCI.
"The area of the office complex has now been reduced to 694.56 acres and an allotment letter for this land will be issued once the army pays off delayed charges amounting to about Rs 225 million," officials said.
In 2009, six terrorists wearing Army uniforms launched a brazen assault on the General Headquarters, sparking an hour- long battle. Pakistani troops repelled the assault; six soldiers and four terrorists were killed during the fighting.