Construction begins on 300 flats for police

Construction work began last Thursday (August 21) on 300 flats for police officers in Hulhumalé.

According to police media, the project was inaugurated at a ceremony on Thursday by Assistant Commissioner of Police Mohamed Sodiq.

Award letters were presented to recipients of the flats last year, who have since been making down-payments.

Down-payments would have to be paid for two years, police explained, and ownership would be transferred to the selected officers after monthly rent is paid for 25 years.

Apartments were awarded to officers with at least 20 years of service and based on a points system used in other housing schemes.

In September 2013, the previous administration awarded 300 flats to police officers under a housing project to be carried out jointly by the government-owned Housing Development Corporation (HDC) and the Police Cooperative Society (POLCO).

Under the MVR580 million (US$37.6 million) ‘Blue’s Housing Project,’ 210 three-bedroom and 90 two-bedroom apartments are to be constructed in Hulhumale’.

In addition to the housing project, then-President Dr Mohamed Waheed awarded 50 flats to senior police and military officers.

The awarding of 300 flats to police officers was criticised by the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) as a continuation of the patronage system established during the 30-year reign of former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom.

“In the light of extensive exposes, such ‘patronage’ is familiar to voters from the single party dictatorship of Gayoom and I believe they will simply say to each other ‘I told you so’,” MDP MP and Spokesperson Hamid Abdul Ghafoor told Minivan News at the time.

Ghafoor said it was “very concerning” that police should be given flats exclusively instead of teachers, doctors and other civil servants. He also questioned the selection process for awarding flats.

While some of the officers may have deserved the housing, there was concern that some officers involved in the alleged “coup d’etat” on February 7 had been rewarded with flats, Ghafoor claimed.

Since the controversial transfer of presidential power that brought Dr Waheed to office in February 2012 – in the wake of a violent police mutiny instigated by officers of the Special Operations (SO) command – more than 1000 police officers were promoted110 new police officers were hired, arrangements were made for cheap accommodation in Sri Lanka for police officers and their families and a loan scheme was set up for police officers.

In February, President Abdulla Yameen had assured police officers that the construction of the flats would begin in March.

In a visit to the police barracks at Iskandhar Koshi, Yameen said resolving housing issues for police personnel in Malé and the atolls was a high priority of his administration.

The president also said he has personally witnessed the “difficult conditions” that officers were working in the atolls, adding that the government would “prioritise finding an adequate solution” and would strengthen police welfare mechanisms.


Finance Committee approves reallocating southern flats to Hulhumalé

Parliament’s finance committee has approved President Abdulla Yameen’s proposal to relocate 704 out of 1,500 housing units, planned for the southern four atolls, to Hulhumalé.

The 1,500 housing units were originally planned to be constructed in Gaaf Alif, Gaaf Dhaal, Fuvahmulah, and Addu City with a MVR2.5 billion (US$162 million) loan secured from the Chinese EXIM bank under President Mohamed Nasheed’s administration.

The request to move 704 units to Hulhumalé was first made by President Dr Mohamed Waheed in December 2012, but denied by parliament at the time.

President Yameen, who has pledged to develop a ‘youth cityin Hulhumalé with a population of 50,000, recently requested the same change, stating there is “no need at present” to build more than 796 housing units in the southern atolls under the project.

Yameen’s request, which was approved on Monday by the finance committee, has now been sent to the Majlis floor for approval.

At Monday’s committee meeting, the proposition to approve the request was made by ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) MP Riyaz Rasheed who said it was not feasible to develop all the units in the southern atolls.

He proposed to accept the president’s request and to pass a report compiled by the previous Majlis’ finance committee, in response to President Waheed’s request in 2012.

The report states that the committee approves the decision to relocate housing units from four southern atolls to Malé because the Ministry of Housing has said in a letter that this decision was made after a ‘housing needs assessment’ in those atolls.

The 13 member committee has six members from the ruling PPM, two from the Jumhooree Party (JP) and one member from the ruling coalition party the Maldives Development Alliance (MDA).

However, the decision was met with fierce opposition from the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) who have four MPs in the committee.

Addu city’s Maradhoo MP Ibrahim ‘Mavota’ Shareef from the MDP proposed to seek further information on the issue by summoning Minister of Housing and Minister of Housing to the committee, but the motion received just three votes in favor.

Shareef accused the government of trying to isolate islands other than Malé and described the decision to relocate housing units as a betrayal of Addu people.

He said the initial plan to develop all 1,500 units in the southern atolls was also based on a feasibility study and a proposal by the MDP administration and was focused on relieving congestion in Male’ area.

Responding to Shareef’s comments, PPM’s Addu Feydhoo MP Ibrahim Didi said the government is not acting against Addu people and he has no objection to the government decision as Feydhoo does not have space for the construction of those housing units.

MDP parliamentary group leader Ibrahim Solih said the party has no issue with the government changing projects to fit their policies, but the concern is over not knowing the details of the justification for such a change.

The issue of regional disparities in development were highlighted in the UNDP’s Human Development Index report which argued that regional inequalities remained a “major challenge” towards human development.


Government announces new housing program

The government has announced two housing schemes under a new “Gedhoruverikuruvun” housing program, application forms for which will be available from the ministry starting from March 2.

The Social Housing Scheme will provide housing for Male’ city citizens via flats. The second scheme will provide financial assistance through the Islamic Finance Facility for construction of houses in the islands.

After launching the scheme,  the Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure and the Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC) signed an MOU.

Minister of Housing Dr. Mohamed Muiz said construction of 1100 flats under the scheme will begin within two months. He did not give details on how the scheme is to be financed.

Muiz said the government will spend MVR 100 million on the finance scheme for the atolls.

Vice President Dr. Mohamed Jameel Ahmed said many believe that lack of housing is the root cause of all social issues and the pledge to provide housing is ‘one of the most important’ pledges of President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom’s government.

The government’s housing policy is sustainable and will minimize hardships, Jameel said.

Jameel criticized all former housing schemes saying they did not give priority to the poorest families and said that the current government will not discriminate on the basis of political ideology in providing housing.

The  ‘Gedhoruverikurun’ program was part of the ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) presidential manifesto, while launching the schemes was included in the government’s road-map for the first hundred days in power.


Tsunami survivors still without permanent housing

President Abdulla Yameen has said 427 families who survived the devastating 2004 tsunami still require permanent housing.

During a speech on the occasion of the National Unity Day – commemorating the impact of the tsunami –  Yameen pledged to provide all families with housing in the next year.

“This government will provide housing for all those who were deprived of it with the tsunami, we will do it in 2014 according to the government’s manifesto” Yameen said.

Meanwhile, the Human Rights Commission of the Maldives (HRCM)  has said that a number of complaints were submitted to the commission by victims of the disaster in 2013. Among these were twelve cases related to damages to houses, of which five cases have been resolved.

Among them was a case involving the government asking people of Meemu Atoll Kolhufushi Island to repay the funds given for repairing damages to their houses.

The commission had also received complaints regarding lack of permanent shelter, compensation for damages caused to houses  and delays in housing projects.

HRCM President  Mariyam Azra has requested the government to take initiative in providing permanent shelter for those currently living in temporary shelters as soon as possible.

Speaking to the media today, commission member Dr Aly Shameem said he hopes the government works towards consolidating democracy and human rights by formulating an action plan as soon a possible.

“We haven’t seen the new government announcing any major policies to consolidate democracy and human rights yet, but the government have assured their full cooperation to the human rights commission,” Shameem said.

According to the Disaster Management Center, 242 individual victims of the disaster are still living in temporary shelters.


Cabinet’s convention centre re-zoning “for political gain”: Addu City Mayor

The Cabinet has advised President Mohamed Waheed Hassan to overturn the previous government’s decision to make the Addu Equatorial Convention Center (ECC) zone an ‘uninhabited area’, potentially allowing the sale of prohibited commodities such as liquor, as practiced for resorts.

The area was designated ‘uninhabited’ on November 19, 2011 by former president and current presidential candidate Mohamed Nasheed.

Yesterday’s recommendation originated in the Finance Ministry, which submitted a paper on the subject during Monday’s cabinet meeting, the president’s office reports.

Spokespersons at the President’s Office said they could not provide details on the recommendation; Addu City Mayor Abdullah Sodig reports that the council was not consulted on or informed of the Cabinet’s recommendation, and claims that it was made for political gain in the face of this Saturday’s presidential elections.

“The Cabinet recommendation opposes Nasheed’s [tourism development] policy, and they want to show the public that they are trying to give land to people who need it. But it’s really just political gain,” Sodig said. “Three days before elections, I don’t think it’s about giving people land.”

Zoning laws in the Maldives determine which islands and areas may be developed for tourism and therefore exempted from national laws prohibiting the sale of alcohol and pork and enforcing compliance with cultural dress codes. Maldives’ southern atolls, including Addu and nearby Gnaviyani atoll, have historically benefited the least from the country’s tourism economy.

President Nasheed decreed the ECC zone uninhabited prior to the 2011 SAARC summit in Addu, effectively laying a foundation for resort, guest house and other tourism-oriented development activities.

Nearly two years since this decree the mood has shifted dramatically. Bids to develop the convention center and surrounding area were interrupted by the February 7, 2012 transfer of power, after which the new administration retained the building as a “national asset”.

Formerly enthusiastic about Addu’s growth potential, Sodig today expressed deep frustration with the government’s inaction.

“[The Convention Center] is never dusted, the toilets are never cleaned, the floors never polished,” he said, adding that the facility has only been used for a few wedding parties and political rallies since it opened in November 2011.

Sodig claimed that his repeated requests for maintenance funds and development activity had received minimal response from President Waheed’s government.

“I took the State Minister of Housing to the building and asked him to look into maintenance. I even met with the Attorney General, Azima Shukoor, for the same purpose in Male,” said Sodig. “She said she would think about it. But until now they have done nothing.”

Sodig reports that without tourism development the ECC, which as of January was mired in MVR 4 million ($260,078) of unpaid electricity bills, “would end up as a liability”. As of June, the Maldivian government owed State Electricity Company (STELCO) MVR 543 million ($35.2) in unpaid electricity bills.

The Cabinet’s sudden action this week suggests that the ECC zone is now being treated as a pawn in the housing debate for the presidential elections. Addu Atoll is home to a significant percentage of the population, and has historically supported President Nasheed’s Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP).

In 2002, 700 ECC-zone land plots were allocated to Adouin families. According to the mayor, only 150 plots have been officially registered as ‘in use’. In an atoll where the average household income is MVR 60,000 ($3,900) per year, the approximate cost of building a two-bedroom home is MVR300,000 ($19,500).

While Adduans who received land in the ECC zone objected to President Nasheed’s zoning decree in 2011, they were content with the island council’s compensatory proposal, Sodig said. He added that he was not aware of any recent complaints that might have triggered the Cabinet to recommend zoning reversal.

The ministries of Finance and Housing had not responded to calls at time of press.


Nasheed pledges to bridge islands in capital and build 12,000 new housing units

Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) Presidential Candidate, former President Mohamed Nasheed, has pledged he will connect the islands within the Male City via a bridge and will build additional 12,000 housing units should he be elected president in September’s elections.

Nasheed made the remarks during a campaign gathering in the Henveiru ward of Male’ on Tuesday evening.

Speaking during the gathering, Nasheed claimed the MDP believed in interconnecting the islands in order to resolve issues of congestion and over population in the city.

Although located in Kaafu Atoll, Male’ City is not administratively considered a part of the atoll. It currently consists of Male’ Island, Villingili Island, the airport Island Hulhule, Industrial island of Thilafushi and artificially reclaimed islands Hulhumale’ and Gulhi Falhu.

Except for Hulhule and Hulhumale’, the remaining islands are currently interconnected by ferry boats which have at times proven ineffective due to bad weather.

Previous plans

Nasheed had previously during his presidency reiterated the necessity for the government to built a bridge connecting the islands of Male’ and Hulhumale’ – an artificially reclaimed island built to combat the rising population of Male  – claiming that the existing ferry system was insufficient to accommodate the growing populations on both islands.

In December 2011, Nasheed’s cabinet decided to proceed with the construction of a bridge between Male’ and Hulhule, under the Male’ decongestion plans which the government said was intended to provide affordable housing for the people, and resolve other social issues.

Following the ousting of Nasheed’s administration two months later, his successor President Mohamed Waheed announced it had been trying to get a US$150 million loan (MVR 2.31 billion) from Turkey’s Exim bank to fund the project.

“We are presently in discussion with Turkey’s Exim bank to obtain a US$ 150 million loan for this project. The decision has been made to travel to Turkey for this purpose, but the loan is not yet confirmed,” Finance Minister Jihad told local media at the time.

President Waheed’s Housing Minister Mohamed Muizzu earlier said that government had received proposals from several international companies to construct such a bridge.

The Minister at the time claimed that two companies from China, one each from South Korea and Turkey had expressed interest in building the bridge.

“The companies have held discussions with me over building the bridge. The companies have also submitted ways to obtain funds. I hope that the project can begin before too long,” the minister said at the time.

Pledged 12,000 housing units

Nasheed during his speech on Tuesday said his vision was to provide 12,000 new housing units for the people of Male, and stressed that such a project is feasible.

“Our target is to connect Male’, Hulhule, Villingili, Thilafushi and Gulhifalhu and build a road that connects all these islands,” Nasheed said.

He further said that total cost of building the needed bridges stood at around US$100 million, and that it was possible for such a project to be completed through Public Private Partnership (PPP).

The former president highlighted that funds needed to build the 12,000 housing units could be generated through the sale of lands that would be reclaimed from Gulhifalhu and Hulhumale’.

“By reclaiming the land and by selling those lands, this project can be completed. We will make that project a successful project and hopefully by the end of 2015, we will try to build housing units for all those who are currently in need of it,” Nasheed said.

Speaking about the previous Veshi Fahi Male’ de-congestion project which was initiated by Nasheed himself during his presidency, said that he had learnt of many people who wished to see the project expanded during the MDP’s door-to-door campaigns.

Nasheed promised the project would be expanded and enhanced in an MDP-led government, which would provide affordable housing to residents of Male City.

The Veshi Fahi Male’ de-congestion programme was a flagship project of Nasheed’s government under the MDP’s manifesto pledge to provide affordable housing.

The project was launched on November 10, 2010 to ease congestion in the capital and develop the Greater Male’ Region, composed of Hulhumale’, Villingili, Thilafushi industrial island and Gulhifalhu.

Approximately 125,000 people are believed to reside in about 16,000 households in Male’; the total number of households in the Maldives is estimated to be 46,000.

“Once the reclamation of these islands are completed there would be space for more housing units even after building the targeted 12,000 units,” Nasheed said.

“MDP is proposing well-rounded policies. MDP is proposing an opportunity for development, a vision to help the people of this country find a better alternative,” he added.


Vice President calls for “population consolidation”

Vice President Mohamed Waheed Deen has lambasted the country’s current presidential candidates for resorting to a “divide and rule policy” to stay in power, rather than focusing on issues such as “population consolidation” which he claimed would help sustainable development.

Speaking on May 13 during the launch of the UN’s 2013 human development report, Deen argued that it was extremely difficult for presidential candidates to discuss relocating and consolidating island populations due to fears “islanders will be angry”.

However, the vice president said he believed there were ulterior motives to avoid addressing population consolidation – the practice of relocating geographically isolated, small island communities to larger landmasses.

“The other reason – which is worse – is the divide and rule policy that has been in the Maldives for hundreds of years. I hope those who are going to be on the list of presidential candidates, and politicians, will seriously think about the development of this nation and not be thinking ‘how long can I stay in power?’,” he told Minivan News.

“The whole idea of population consolidation is for the government, or the leaders whoever they are, not to control Maldivian citizens, so if they want to be free and independent they should do it.”

Vice President Deen highlighted a number of development issues and interrelated democratisation challenges he believed were vital to development, during his speech at Sunday’s UN report launch.

These issues included included the need for improving freedom of expression and democratic education to reduce inequalities. Deen emphasised “population consolidation” as an important way of ensuring this.

“It is easier to control votes if you are on small, small little islands, but it’s difficult when the population is consolidated,” stated Deen. “I strongly believe that the Maldives must have a population consolidation method.”

“Unless populations are consolidated, economically viable solutions – healthcare, education and other services and facilities – required for development cannot be sustained,” he added.

Deen claimed there were also numerous economic and social service benefits that would come from relocating people living on small islands, whom he said faced “lots of difficulties” due to limited healthcare and educational opportunities. Restricted transportation options were another concern he identified.

“Population consolidation would also reduce income and gender inequality. They would find it easier to find jobs and things like that,” he said. “I strongly believe that’s the key to a successful Maldives.”

Voter buy-offs, other corrupt practices, political polarisation and a lack of civil education were identified by Transparency Maldives, the Elections Commission of the Maldives (ECM), and the Elections Commission of India (ECI) as threatening free and fair democratic elections from taking place in September.

Additionally, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the Maldivian Democracy Network (MDN) released a joint human rights brief this April accusing the Maldivian government of failing to create conditions conducive to free and fair elections.

Relocation gone wrong

Population consolidation is a controversial issue for many islanders, given the unique cultural characteristics and strong inter-relationships each island community in the Maldives possesses.

The displacement and subsequent relocation of the entire Kan’dholhudhoo Island community in Raa Atoll following the 2004 tsunami is one example of the development challenges posed by relocating entire island communities.

“The community is still suffering tremendously,” Island Council Vice President Amir Ahmed told Minivan News.

“Kan’dholhudhoo is our motherland, however, the whole island was fully damaged [in the tsunami]. Four years after our community was split and living on different islands in Raa Atoll – Alifushi, Ungoofaru, Meedhoo, Maduvvari – or in Male’,” Ahmed explained.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) – in partnership with other nation-state donors – provided temporary shelter and food for the internally displaced in the aftermath of the tsunami, Ahmed continued.

In 2008, the bulk of Kan’dholhudhoo’s nearly 4,000 community members were eventually relocated to Dhuvaafaru Island. However, administratively the community remains under Kan’dholhudhoo, which poses a problem for voting, explained Ahmed.

The IFRC transformed the previously uninhabited island with the construction of 600 new houses, office buildings, a health centre, playgrounds, roads, and a garbage area, Ahmed added.

Unfortunately the government’s lack of community consultations, inadequate infrastructure development, and political opposition leading to local “administrative problems” has greatly degraded quality of life for the Kan’dholhudhoo community, lamented Ahmed.

He explained that the combination of too few island-level civil servants – the government mandates one per every 500 people, but only four represent Kan’dholhudhoo – and the stanch allegiance of island office employees to former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom created huge development-related problems and a lack of basic services.

“Maumoon’s people were working in the island office and they still supported him,” said Ahmed. He claims that the island office staff requested too few homes from the IFRC after the tsunami.

“They don’t know how the people suffer,” said Ahmed. “This is no ‘safe island’, there are many problems.”

“Day by day things get worse”

Currently 75 families still need homes, according to Ahmed. He explained the homes which have been constructed were meant to house a single six person family in a 2000 square foot area with three bedrooms and two bathrooms.

“Instead, three or four families are living in one house. Many people are not coming back because they have no place to live, or because the living conditions are so uncomfortable,” Ahmed said.

“The constitution should provide one area of land per family, but this has not happened for our community,” he added.

Overcrowding due to the lack of adequate housing has caused a variety of societal problems, including property disputes, rising divorce rates, and children “don’t learn the responsibilities of how to live… additionally they see what’s happening to the community. Disputes are increasing,” said Ahmed.

Many of the homes were constructed near a “pond area” on the island, explained Ahmed.

“The land is not good for people to live on because the well water is bad. It has a bad smell and causes skin problems, especially for children and old people,” he explained. “Maumoon decided where to build the houses, we were not consulted.”

Although a pipeline has since been built to supply safe drinking water to the 40 families living in the area, given the overcrowding problem the water supplied is not sufficient. Thus, “a lot” of well water continues to be used.

Ahmed further explained that there is a waste management shortfall also posing a serious threat to community’s health.

“The garbage [problem] is terrible here. A garbage area was made but we cannot use it because there is not enough budget. So islanders have been dumping waste in the beach area, which is now full, so garbage is all over the road blocking vehicles from driving,” Ahmed said.

“There are also diseases spreading, such as viral fever, as well as mosquitoes and flies. And there are people living nearby this [garbage] area,” he added.

Despite these human health threats, Dhuvaafaru still lacks medicine and adequate medical facilities.

“There is no pharmacy or medicine [available]. We tried to establish one, but it is still not open,” said Ahmed.

“We have a health centre but it is without medicine. It lacks basic necessities and cannot even perform blood tests or give injections. We have to go to Ungoofaru [for medical treatment] which is 10 or 15 minutes away by speedboat,” he added.

Education and economic opportunities are also very limited, according to Ahmed.

“I am reluctant to say this, but the community is not very aware. Educated community [members] are very rare and if anyone is educated they will move to some other island because they want their children to have a quality education and standard of living,” Ahmed said.

“The community’s living standard is very dependent on the fishing industry. There are no administrative jobs, so fishing is the only way to make a living,” he continued.

“Day by day things get worse and worse,” he lamented.

“Government doesn’t listen”

Successive government administrations have failed to address the development problems and threats to the Dhuvaafaru community.

“Maumoon provided us no choices. We informed the government [of these issues], but nothing changed,” said Ahmed.

Although former President Mohamed Nasheed’s administration provided the community with sandbags to thwart coastal erosion, “now the erosion has spread to another side” of the island and the ongoing development problems went unresolved, he continued.

The island office was controlled by the former opposition who did not cooperate with Nasheed’s administration to improve quality of life for the Dhuvaafaru community, claims Ahmed.

“We informed the coup government, but they don’t listen. [President Mohamed] Waheed makes many promises, but has taken no action,” he added.

Regarding whether island relocation and “population consolidation” are beneficial for island communities, Ahmed believes that if the government will actually provide the proper infrastructure for communities then the policy would be beneficial.

“I think most people would follow that, especially the younger generation. If there are good facilities I’ll go there for sure,” Ahmed declared.

“I’m happy now because everything is new [on Dhuvaafaru], but when I enter the house I want to leave immediately [due to the overcrowding],” he added.

In March 2012, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) sent a corruption case involving MVR 24 million (US$1.55 million) to the Prosecutor General’s Office concerning the Disaster Management Centre and a housing project carried out on Gan in Laamu Atoll, following damage suffered in the 2004 tsunami.

The Maldivian government is obligated under national and international law to guarantee the human rights and protections enshrined in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), which include access to adequate housing, water, healthcare, and political participation.


Construction of 100 housing units in Thulhaadhoo to begin

The foundations for 100 housing units have been laid down on the island of Thulhaadhoo in Baa Atoll in an attempt to alleviate housing difficulties on the island.

Local media reported that the project, which includes a total of 300 units, is to begin shortly and is expected to be completed within two years.

“As Housing is a big problem in Thulhaadhoo, former President Nasheed said he will reclaim land on Thulhaadhoo and that he will make the island habitable for 10,000 people.

“17 hectares were reclaimed and large stones were placed under that project,” Thulhaadhoo Council President Ahmed Rasheed was quoted as saying in local media.


Police signed housing scheme MoU without legal advice from AG office

The Attorney General’s Office stated Monday that the Maldives Police Service had not obtained legal advice from them before signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) regarding the police housing scheme.

The AG office told local media that they had commented on the draft MoU submitted by the MPS, informing them that some necessary information was missing. They had not heard back from the police on the matter. The AG office said it learned about the signing of the MoU only through media reports following the event.

However, Police Media Official Sub-Inspector Hassan Haneef told Minivan News today that they had discussed with all relevant entities before signing the MoU.

When asked if the police had received or responded to the comments on the MoU sent by the AG office, Haneef said, “We have no further comments to make on whatever the AG office has to say. That’s up to them. Our official response is that we have sought legal advice from those we have to consult, as per the constitution.”

Maldives Police Services signed this MoU with the Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC) and the Housing Development Corporation (HDC) on 13th September 2012, according to media reports. The MoU was an agreement to build 300 flats in Hulhumale’ for the use of police officers.

Speaking at the ceremony, Commissioner of Police Abdulla Riyaz has said they hoped to complete the 300 flats within a span of two years.

Minister of Home Affairs Mohamed Jameel Ahmed has said that this was in accordance with President Waheed’s pledge upon assuming office of providing housing for police officers.

HDFC has also introduced a loan scheme for police officers in August, where officers can obtain loans to build houses owned by them.

Attorney General Azima Shukoor was not responding to calls at the time of press.