Main photo: Zulfi Bukhari, Special Assistant to PM on Overseas Pakistanis, Afzaal Mahmood, Pakistan Ambassador, Ahmed Shaikhani, President, PBC, Shabbir Merchant, Director PBC, Imran Chaudhry and guests at the PBC reception in Dubai on Sunday. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News
The special courts will decide any property dispute within 30 days, says Bukhari in UAE
Dubai: Pakistan will launch ‘fast-track courts’ for overseas Pakistanis to settle land-grabbing cases on priority bases, said Syed Zulfiqar Bukhari, Special Assistance to Prime Minister on Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resources Development.
Speaking to Gulf News in Dubai on the sidelines of an event hosted by Pakistan Business Council in Dubai, Bukhari said that he could proudly announce that the fast-track courts would be operational within the next few months. Bukhari had first announced to set up the special court during his first visit to Dubai in January 2019 after taking charge of his office. “It took us two years to fulfil the promise I made to our Non-Resident Pakistanis due to legal formalities. Now, we are all set to roll out these courts which will bring the much needed relief to Pakistani expatriates,” he added.
Bukhari said that the any cases taken up by the fast-track court would be settled within 30 days. Land grabbing and property disputes are major issues overseas Pakistanis facing in their country. While they are abroad, gangs or even their relatives take illegal possession of their land or houses, and their civil cases in normal courts drag on for decades. The issue was highlighted and brought to the notice of Prime Minister Imran Khan who ordered to resolve it on priority bases. Around 10 million Pakistanis live outside their country, including 1.6 million in the UAE and they are major source of foreign remittance.
First fast-track court in Islamabad
Bukhari said that the first such court would be set up in Islamabad and then gradually the special courts would be opened in all provinces. “At a later stage, these courts will also take up business disputes of overseas Pakistanis. This will also help give relief to foreign investors,” he added.
Earlier, speaking at the Pakistan Business Council (PBC) event, which was organised to welcome the new Ambassador of Pakistan to UAE Afzaal Mahmood, Bukhari said that Pakistan would soon launch its ‘tourism brand’ to give boost to tourism industry in the country.
“Brand Pakistan will be a one-stop portal to provide all you need to know about tourism in Pakistan. It will have information about travel, hotels, places to visit, airlines connection, transport links, food, culture and all the relevant information with contacts. Special packages will also launched for foreign tourists specially targeting overseas Pakistanis,” he added.
“Local tourism industry is booming in Pakistan. We have now round the year tourism season as we get more tourists during winter than summer,” said Bukhari who has additional portfolio for the Tourism Ministry. Bukhari also urged overseas Pakistanis to invest in the tourism industry.
Bukhari said that Pakistan Prime Minister would also soon launch 10-year tourism policy and five — year action plan to promote tourism.
Earlier, speaking at the event, Ambassador Afzaal Mahmood said he was working on plans to enhance bilateral trade between the UAE and Pakistan with the help of Pakistan Business Council. “We will take a delegation of leading businessmen and officials to Pakistan to explore business and investment opportunities. Likewise, we are also planning to bring a delegation of top businessmen and representatives of chambers of commerce bodies from all over the country to UAE.
Salman Iqbal, CEO of ARY Digital Network, said that his uncle the late Haji Abdul Razzaq, famous gold trader of Dubai, formed the Pakistan Business Council more than three decades ago. “I am very happy to see that the PBC has come so far and has become a major platform for prominent Pakistanis living in the UAE. I was also born here and I know that Pakistani expatriates in the UAE have worked hard to be part of rapid development of UAE.”
Iqbal Shaikani, President of Pakistan Business Council in Dubai said that the PBC would be working closely with the consulate and the Pakistan’s Expo 2020 team to make Pakistan’s pavilion successful and vibrant. He said that the PBC was working on several plans to improve business and trade links between UAE and Pakistan.