Justice Gulzar Ahmed admonishes development authorities for 'ruining Islamabad'

December 06, 2019

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CDA teams demolish contruction and encroachments by Centaurus Mall. — Mohammad Asim/File
CDA teams demolish contruction and encroachments by Centaurus Mall. — Mohammad Asim/File

Justice Gulzar Ahmed on Friday directed the chairman of Capital Development Authority (CDA) to launch a criminal investigation against officials suspected of being involved in misconduct.

The judge, who is set to become the Chief Justice of Pakistan on December 21, also told the chairman to recover money from those officials who have caused financial losses to the body. He made these remarks during a Supreme Court hearing pertaining to encroachments by Centaurus Mall.

During the hearing, Justice Ahmed lashed out against capital authorities for "ruining Islamabad" and regretted that the construction of high-rise buildings had been approved on directions by politicians.

"Don't earthquakes hit this city?" he inquired.

He regretted that there was almost no public transport in the capital since 1960.

"There is one shaking Metro running [in Islamabad]. There is no rickshaw in sight," he observed. "Bring in rickshaws, show people your culture."

The judge also expressed annoyance at overseas Pakistanis' "refusal to work in the country".

"Overseas Pakistanis are running the transport system in London. Our best town planners have gone to America and Canada. They say that they cannot work in a jungle. Their refusal [to work in Pakistan] is a slap on their and the country's face."

The judge also pointed out the deteriorating situation of the capital's roads and said: "One fears of running into a footpath while driving on the Kashmir Highway."

Justice Ahmed told National Highway Authority chairman to present a report on the action taken in accordance with the court's orders. He also directed the interior secretary to submit a report on solutions to administrative problems.

The hearing was adjourned for six weeks.

Justice Ahmed will assume charge as the country's top judge on December 21, a day after the retirement of the incumbent CJP Asif Saeed Khosa. He is hearing multiple cases pertaining to illegal encroachments in Karachi and Islamabad.