Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed of the Lahore High Court on Tuesday sought details from the Auqaf Department of the land it owns around the shrine of Hazrat Baba Farid in Pakpattan after the district police officer suggested that the shops displaced by the closure of the shrine’s main gate be relocated at the southern gate.
On Tuesday, the Pakpattan district police officer (DPO) told the court that the 700-year-old main gate had been closed for security reasons after last year’s suicide bombing there on July 1.
He said the displaced shopkeepers could be accommodated at another gate, upon which the court sought a detailed report on Auqaf land at the shrine.
Advocate Zaheerul Hassan Zahoor, the petitioner, has challenged the decision to close the historic gate, submitting that it inconveniences visitors, hurts the livelihoods of hundreds of shopkeepers and does not even resolve the security concerns at the site.
Devotees and visitors have to converge in a huge number at a single location, making them a vulnerable target, he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 12th, 2011.
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