Islamabad’s club for the elites pays Rs3 rent per acre per month

Spanning an area of “approximately 352 acres”, Islamabad’s elitist Club, the Islamabad Club keeps its membership exclusive but pays a rent of meagre Rs. 3 per acre. The club, which was established as a social club for federal government officers and diplomats in the late 60s, has been turned into a commercial entity, making money and lacking transparent criteria for membership.

In 1970, over 244 acres of land was leased out to the club by the Capital Development Authority (CDA) at a concessional rate of Re1 per acre for the first 10 years only. The rent was to be revised a decade after the agreement but it was not, an audit report from several years ago revealed.

The audit report, however, didn’t have information about the rental details. It came to spotlight when Nadeem Umer, a citizen, filed an information request after a report of the auditor general of Pakistan found the club violating its rules. Nadeem moved the Pakistan Information Commission (PIC) against the club for refusing him the requested details.

When the PIC inquired about the details of funds it received from the government, the club said the land of the club was leased out by the CDA and that regular payment on lease rental was made on a yearly basis. Rs. 14,700 on account of lease rent of the Islamabad Club and Rs. 12,300 of the Polo Ground.

By that description, the club and ground appear to be two separate entities. According to the club’s website, it is situated on an area of “approximately 352 acres” which means Rs 3 rent per acre per month. How much space is occupied by the Polo Ground has not been mentioned.

In August this year, the club was directed by PIC to provide information within seven working days. The club has not yet complied with the order despite the fact that two show-cause notices have been issued.

Source: The News