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IHC wants Monal restaurant, Navy Golf Course sealed today



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The Islamabad High Court has instructed the Capital Development Authority to immediately seal the Monal restaurant and Navy Golf Course.

At a hearing pertaining to encroachments in the Islamabad Margalla Hills Park on Tuesday, Justice Athar Minallah came down on the authorities.

“Do you people know what you’re doing with the upcoming generations? All this is very shocking,” the judge said. “Everywhere we see in Islamabad, there’s lawlessness.”

The court remarked that commercial activities on the land of the Islamabad Hills National Park can’t be allowed at any cost. “Under what law are you using this land?”

The attorney-general said that the transfer of the land has not taken place. This irked the judge. Justice Minallah stressed that no one is allowed to even cut grass from the park.

He pointed out that the national park has been regularised and exploited to the point of destruction. “Who’s responsible for it? The poor people can’t enter the park, it’s the elite who are ruining it. It’s the elite who encroach upon land and then get it regularised.”

The court added that the Military Farms Directorate’s claim over 8,000 acres of the national park is illegal. “The land should, once again, be handed back to the park.”

The Environment Protection Agency has been directed to submit a report on the damages caused by construction on the national park as well.

Navy Golf Course

The court instructed the Capital Development Authority to immediately seal the Navy Golf Course.

“The Pakistan Navy encroached the land for the club,” Justice Minallah ruled, adding that it was said that the golf course is being built for security purposes. But that didn’t happen.

“Seal the golf course today and start an inquiry into it,” the court reiterated.

Monal restaurant

During the proceeding, the director-general of the Environmental Protection Authority revealed that the Monal restaurant was sealed twice in the past but was reopened again. “We don’t know who did it,” he said.

Justice Minallah, irked, remarked that this time that won’t happen and handed over the responsibility of sealing the restaurant to the Chief Commissioner Islamabad Capital Territory.

“It is your responsibility to ensure the orders are implemented and you will oversee them yourself,” the judge said. The commissioner assured the court that he will seal the restaurant himself today (Tuesday, January 11).

Margalla Hills National Park is a property of public land and any commercial activity is banned on its land.

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