PESHAWAR, Nov 3: The Peshawar High Court on Friday stayed the demolition of a 150-year-old mohafiz khana (record room) planned by the government.

A two-member bench comprising Justice Qaim Jan Khan and Justice Ijaz Afzal restrained the provincial and district governments from taking any step against the mohafiz khana situated on Khyber Road. The court issued the order in public interest.

The writ petition was jointly filed by Sarhad Conservation Network (SCN) through its coordinator Zahoor Durrani and Hindokush Conservation Association UK through its director Ms Maureen P. Lines.

The bench put on notice the NWFP government through its secretary local government, the Peshawar city district nazim, and other respondents.

Senior advocate of the Supreme Court Qazi Muhammad Jamil appeared for the petitioners and contended that the mohafiz khana was of historical significance. He regretted that instead of preserving this structure of historical importance the government had been planning to demolish it so as to built some modern structure there.

Mr Jamil, who has been doing the case gratis, contended that the documents in the mohafiz khana were very old pertaining to the history, culture and laws of the Pukhtuns and most of them were unique in the world.

He argued that although the building was dilapidated, but it should not be demolished and instead preserved for the future generations. He added that destruction of civilization was inconsistent with the flourishing of life in its historical back drop, hence a violation of Article 9, 14 and 28 of the constitution.

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