Musharraf farmhouse: the architect responds

The Architect of Mushrraf’s Farm house responds to the false allegations of our “sansational “and so called “patriotic ” Media

By HAMMAD HUSSAIN

Islamabad – A lot has been written in the foreign and local press lately about Gen Pervez Musharraf’s farmhouse in Chak Shahzad, Islamabad. Journalists have (mis)reported and commented on the plot, the house design, cost, size and any aspect of the house that would make news. There has been a debate whether he will be able to live in his farmhouse or not.

As the architect of this farmhouse, I would like to clarify some facts:

The farmhouse has a very modest and functional design with minimalist and simple finishes. It is anything but ostentatious or palatial. It is made in accordance with the bye-laws of the Capital Development Authority (CDA).

Last year there was a controversy about the Chak Shahzad farms, including Gen Musharraf’s plot. After Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry was reinstated on 20th July, he took suo moto notice of the ‘violations’ of law, claiming that the farms were ‘allotted’ to the present owners for growing vegetables and were not meant for residential use. He sought to cancel all the 499 plots in Chak Shahzad.

None of these charges was correct and this move by Justice Chaudhry seemed nothing more than an attempt to settle personal scores with Gen Musharraf. The reality is that these plots had originally been allotted as compensation to those locals who were evicted from their properties in the 1970s and 80s when CDA was in the process of developing sectors in Islamabad. Most of these allottees eventually sold these farms at prevailing market rates. Later, CDA legalized construction of residences in Chak Shahzad.

Gen Musharraf bought his plot at market price and it was officially transferred in his name by CDA, which also stamped and approved the drawings for construction of the house according to their bye-laws. Reports by some journalists that he was allotted the plot “at a throwaway price” and that the construction is illegal are false and malicious.

There is nothing controversial about Gen Musharraf’s plot or the house. It has just been blown out of proportion by sensational reporters

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