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SC orders FIA to file case against encroachment on Dharamshala land

Supreme Court of Pakistan building in Islamabad. Image: APP

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) of Pakistan on Friday ordered the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to file a case against encroachment on Dharamshala land in Karachi and present evidence.

A three-member bench headed by the Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Gulzar Ahmad was hearing a suo motu case today about minority rights.

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During the hearing, Patron in Chief Hindu Council Ramesh Kumar told the court that a commercial Plaza was being constructed on Dharamshala land in Fazal Town Karachi.

Chairman Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) told the SC that the ancient Dharamshala was built on the land of the ETPB, and there may be constructions on it.

To this, CJP remarked whether the court ordered to demolish all old buildings like this? Dharamshala, established in 1932, could not be preserved in its original condition, he added.

The chief justice also told the chairman ETPB that he could escape from his responsibilities.

The CJP asked what action had the FIA taken against the Jain Temple and the Blue Dome in Lahore.

Justice Ahmed also remarked that FIA should not harass people.

“People should not be afraid of the FIA that they will take them away. How many fish will be caught in the name of the FIA investigation?” he added and said that the whole country was suffering due to such actions.

Justice Ahmed remarked that a place like Kartarpur Corridor had been built and that there were minority places of worship in the rest of the country too.

Kumar told the court that there were no facilities for minorities in government hospitals in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

To this, the CJP also summoned chief secretary KP to the rostrum and asked if he had visited the government hospitals in the province.

“It had been some time since I joined the office. I have visited a hospital, which had all the medical facilities,” the chief secretary KP replied.

To this, Justice Ahmed told the secretary that “this statement did not suit you.”

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“There are facilities for you everywhere. Whereas there is no facility for ordinary citizens in KP hospitals.”

“I feel threatened that KP hospitals will soon become five-star hotels,” said the CJP.

The SC later ordered the chief secretary KP to submit a detailed report on the condition of all government hospitals in the province and adjourned the hearing for a month.

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