Dawn News

PESHAWAR, Nov 10: The Peshawar High Court on Thursday allowed more time to the provincial and Peshawar district governments for coming up with their plan about removing the unwanted structures raised in the grounds of the Shahi Bagh in order to restore the Mughal-era garden its historical significance.

The court said the stay order it issued during previous hearing on Nov 3 would continue, restraining the government from carrying out any further construction in one of the largest and oldest gardens in the provincial capital.

A two-member bench comprising Chief Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan and Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth accepted a request made by the Peshawar district coordination officer, Siraj Ahmad Khan, asking for more time for preparing a comprehensive plan.

Mr Siraj requested the bench that as the officials had just returned from Eid holidays, the required meeting between different departmental heads could not be convened.

The bench adjourned hearing of the case until Nov 24 with the direction to all the secretaries and DCO to complete their homework before next date.

The chief justice had taken suo motu notice of the issue last year over an application sent by a social activist, Shakeel Waheedullah Khan, about the plight of different parks of the provincial capital and had converted it into a writ petition. Later, another citizen, Mohammad Ali Bhatti, also filed an application requesting the court to stay the construction of a stadium by the government with the support of Fifa on the land of the park.

Apart from the DCO, some of the departmental secretaries of the director general of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Environmental Protection Agency also turned up before the court. When the bench took up for hearing the case on Thursday, Mr Bhatti stated that as the name of the chief justice had now been recommended for elevation to the Supreme Court, they were eager that this case may be decided in his presence at the earliest.

He added that this petition was of historical significance and it would be a great favour with the inhabitants of Peshawar by the chief justice if the Shahi Bagh was restored to its original shape.

The chief justice asked the official that during previous hearing they had put certain queries about presence of many other buildings on the premises of the park having nothing to do with the entertainment of people.—Bureau Report


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