Three officials from the Directorate of Municipal Administration (DMA) have faced suspension concerning allegations of extortion and harassment levelled by the owner of an international food outlet operating within the Beverly Centre along Jinnah Avenue, Blue Area.
The incident came to light after a Pakistani journalist affiliated with Turkish media drew attention to the issue on social media. Promptly, Chief Commissioner and Capital Development Authority (CDA) Chairman, retired Capt Anwarul Haq, took note of the situation and ordered an immediate investigation. Chairman Haq subsequently met with the restaurant owner to gather firsthand information. CDA suspends officials in light of the situation.
Read More: Islamabad Jail Project Faces Major Delays
The Alleged Extortion by DMA Officials
The eatery’s proprietor informed Mr Haq that several DMA officials had been demanding an approximate sum of Rs 600,000 without providing any formal receipt. Furthermore, the officials allegedly threatened the owner with punitive measures if the demanded amount was unpaid.
Taking swift action, Chairman CDA Anwarul Haq, following discussions with the restaurant owner, ordered the suspension of the three involved officials from the DMA. An official statement released by the civic body asserted, “Such practices have zero tolerance within the CDA. Chairman CDA has himself intervened in this matter and has met the restaurant owner and assured an investigation into this on priority. Chairman CDA suspends officials as a result.”
As per a notification from the Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI), as the DMA operates under its administrative jurisdiction, three officials—Sub-Assistant Mubashir Abbas, Sub-Assistant Mohammad Azeem, and security guard Imran Javed—have been suspended on the grounds of “inefficiency and misconduct.”
Over the years, numerous officials have held positions in the DMA, raising questions about their tenure and performance within the directorate. One official stated, “The chief commissioner and DC Islamabad should not only remove all such officials who have been serving in DMA for years but also need to check their and their family members’ assets details.”
A simple citywide inspection would reveal the efficiency of the CDA and DMA. Encroachments and unauthorized constructions have marred the capital’s markets, with alleged collusion between businessmen and CDA/DMA officials resulting in the occupation of public walkways. Negligence from CDA and other concerned authorities has tarnished the once-glorious reputation of the federal capital, ‘Islamabad-the Beautiful,’ with encroachments, illegal constructions, slums, and other issues now prevalent.