ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is being run as a monarchy in the guise of democracy, observed Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali on Thursday while hearing cases involving Punjab government’s flagship project Orange Line Metro Train.
Heading a five-judge larger bench, the top judge said the nation was being duped in the name of democracy, while bad governance was being presented as good governance. He advised people to carefully assess the situation and prudently use their right to vote while electing their representatives.
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The Punjab government has challenged the August 19 judgment of the Lahore High Court, which had stopped the provincial authorities from carrying out development work within 200 feet of 10 heritage sites in Lahore.
The apex court bench took up Nespak, Lahore Development Authority (LDA) and Punjab government’s appeals against the high court’s verdict. Makhdoom Ali Khan, who appeared on behalf of the Punjab government, contended that the court had to satisfy that there was no legal violation but it was a matter relating to national heritage.
When he assented to the bench’s option for reconfirming technical reports on the project, a member of the bench, Justice Azmat Saeed Sheikh, said: “I am glad that Punjab government is not adamant (on this matter).”
Expressing commitment to safeguard heritage sites in Lahore, Justice Azmat asked Makhdoom Ali to assure the court that in future, this project would pose no harm to heritage sites in Lahore.
Upon this, Makhdoom Ali Khan maintained that there would be no ‘real damage’ to heritage sites.
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Responding bluntly, Justice Azmat Saeed said: “So you think there may be (other kind of) damage It is our heritage – it is my heritage we (the bench) need to be satisfied that Pakistan’s culture is not put at risk we’ll not allow anyone to vandalise Lahore – no structural damage will be tolerated.”
He also said there must be some way to gauge visual impairment and court shall decide on the issue after examining the measures.
Justice Azmat also said that the court was not expressing concern in the matter for any individual but to protect heritage sites in Lahore.
Later, the bench asked both the parties to submit three names each of independent and impartial technical experts on heritage without consulting each other today (Friday).
Courtesy : Express Tribune