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HARIPUR: The communication and works department has dropped its plan to demolish the historical Harkishan Garh fort and has decided to put up the tehsil complex building at an alternative place provided by the district administration, a local court was told on Thursday.

Civil Judge-VIII Mohammad Shoaib disposed the petition against the fort demolition plan after its withdrawal.

Counsel Jawad Habib and Rab Nawaz had moved the court on Dec 15 on behalf of District Public Safety Commission member Sadaqat Khan and some other lawyers saying the communication and works department has tasked a local contractor with building the tehsil complex at the historic Harkishan Garh fort.

The petitioners claimed that since the fort was an important cultural heritage, its demolition would violate the Antiquities Act, 1979 and KP Antiquities Act, 1997, and 2016.

They prayed the court to order the department and contractor not to make any changes to the fort structure.

However, the chief secretary directed the Haripur deputy commissioner to change the plan to build the tehsil complex on the fort, which was built by Commander-in-chief of the Sikh Khalsa Army General Hari Singh Nalva in 1822 and 1823 and used as his army’s headquarters until the British invasion.

DC Zahid Pervez Warraich later wrote to the director (archaeology) revealing that the administration has changed the fort demolition plan and therefore, he should take measures to protect the fort and change it into an archaeological museum.

Officials of the archaeological department also visited the fort and announced steps for its preservation Sub-engineer Mohammad Shoaib informed thecourt on Thursday about the change of the fort demolition plan and said the district administration had identified an alternative place for the tehsil complex. The petition was later withdrawn.

NO TRUST MOTION: The Haripur district council on Thursday admitted a notrust motion against the nazim for further action after majority of its members supported it.

The debate on the motion will take place today (Friday).

At least 50 councillors had signed the no trust notice, which was submitted to the office of assistant director (local government) on Jan 4.

After the resolution was presented by councillor Ghalib Khan, naib nazim Agha Shabbir Ahmad, who was in the chair, sought the house’s comments on it.

Forty-five of the total 68 members supported it by a show of hands.

The chair later adjourned the session until today (Friday) for debate on the no-trust resolution, where the nazim will also comment on it.

Published in Dawn, January 11th, 2019