The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday ordered the capital authorities to close the Monal Restaurant today and seize possession of the Margalla Greens Golf Club, which was built on encroached territory, as well as ruling the military’s claim to 8,000 acres of the Margalla Hills National Park unconstitutional.
During a hearing on encroachments in the national park, IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah gave the order to Islamabad Capital Territory Chief Commissioner Amer Ali Ahmed.
The judge stated, “This court will safeguard the greater public interest.” During the hearing, the climate change secretary demanded that Islamabad’s master plan be made public. Justice Minallah stated that all rules pertained to the three branches of the armed services and inquired as to whether they were being followed. He questioned if the Pakistan Air Force had received consent from the Capital Development Authority (CDA) for the projects that it had undertaken.
The judge stated that the defence secretary’s concerns should be heard as well, and that the legislation should be strictly enforced. “If Monal’s lease has expired, seal it,” Justice Minallah remarked.
Following the judge’s orders, CDA agents proceeded to the eatery and sealed it. The Environmental Protection Agency was tasked with submitting a report on the harm caused by building on the national park. IHC also directed the CDA to take over the Margalla Greens Golf Club.
“The defence secretary should investigate the naval golf course encroachments [and] take action against those guilty,” Justice Minallah added. The IHC urged the defence secretary to ensure that the court’s directives were followed and that there was no illegal building by the three branches of the armed forces.
The IHC had criticised many agencies on November 9 for being careless regarding the deterioration of the Margalla Hills National Park and animal sanctuary. The court also ordered that a survey of the damage be conducted and a report be prepared.