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Lahore Garrison Golf & Country Club is illegal, AGP says

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Army is maintaining a luxurious Golf and Country Club on 2,592 kanals land on New Airport Road Lahore in blatant violation of all rules and regulations and is even not providing related documents to auditors, the annual report of Auditor General of Pakistan for the year 2010-11 reveals.

The army version is that the “matter relates to higher formations”. Moreover the profit obtained out of Golf Club and Country Club in being deposited into regimental account instead of federal government, the AGP report says.

It says: “As per rule-16 (2) of Cantonment Land Administration Rule (CLAR) – 1937, an initial premium should be charged on the lease and lease shall be put up to public auction for sale to the person who agrees to pay the highest amount of premium”.

As per record of HQ 103 Brigade, the Golf Course site (New Airport Road Lahore) had been declared surplus for disposal on commercial basis vide Ministry of Defence letter No 72/42/Lands/1496/D-12/ML&C dated 28th May, 2005 to generate funds for the construction of GHQ at Islamabad, the auditors have revealed.

“Director General Military Lands and Cantonments (DGML&C) was responsible for auction of the said surplus land. Instead of auctioning the land it was converted into Lahore Garrison Golf and Country Club being managed by 103 Brigade. The site was being used for commercial activities and the income was deposited into regimental funds.” When pointed out by audit in June 2009 the entity replied that the matter related to higher formations.

“Reply was not tenable as the A-1 land was required to be disposed of through public auction by the DGML&C whereas land measuring 350 acres was being used as Lahore Garrison Golf and Country Club on commercial basis without government sanction which was violation of orders as mentioned above,” the AGP report said.

The para was discussed in Departmental Accounts Committee (DAC) meeting held on 11th January, 2011. The DAC was informed that Rule-5 (i) of CLAR — 1937 amended by Ministry of Defence notification No SRO-280(1)/93 dated 9th March, 1993, golf course could be established on A-1 land.

“Audit pointed out that utilisation of A-1 land of Golf Course for commercial activities and generation of revenue was unauthorised. DAC directed to intimate how much land of Military Farm was occupied for Golf Course and got regularised the un-authorised activities through government sanction. All record of income/expenditure of Golf Course land be provided to audit. Further progress was awaited till finalisation of this report. Audit suggests that besides regularisation of provision of record to audit as directed by the DAC, disciplinary and remedial aspects may also be taken to stop un-authorised use of A-1 land in future,” the AGP report concludes.

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