Bahria Town not interested in Bagh Ibne Qasim

Salahuddin Haider

Good luck seems to have smiled on Karachi citizens as Bahria Town finally told the Sindh High Court Tuesday that it was not interested in taking over the management of Bagh IbneQasim because of the controversy over its ownership
It conveyed the message to honourable court through its counsel Khalid Javed Khan, meaning that the deck seems finally clear that a garden spread over vast chunk of lands in Clifton, will remain under the civic administration.
The Sindh government, had ignored protests in the provincial assembly to let the real estate tycoon, Riaz Mali, considered very close and business partners of PPP leader and former President Asif Zardari, take over its management,
That meant that Malik Riaz would have become its virtual owner. The garde, iconic in character was combined efforts of former Governor Ishratul Ebad, and ex-Mayor Mustafa Kamal, who working under patronage of former President General Perves Musharraf, had provided something of real value to the people of Karachi.
Convinced that his pleas will fall on deaf ears, Mayor Waseem Akhtar went to the Superior Judiciary, which stayed the transfer control of the garden to Bahria Town.
Once it issued the restraining order, Malik Riaz began to retrace his steps and fears that a garden which had provided a real place for recreation to citizens of Karachi, may have gone to some one else’s ownership.
The counsel for the defendant said Malik Riaz was no longer interested in the park because of its disputed ownership. He had earlier gone on record to announce that he will not lay his hands on the Garden till controversdies over its transfer, ended.
However the counsel told the two-member bench that the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation had no locus stanti in the case, as the park was under the administrative control of the District Municipal Corporation.
The restraining order from the bench headed byJustice Junaid Ghaffar, came on April 3, on petitions from Waseem Akhtar Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf, and a non-governmental organisation.
The stay order valid till April was against the notification from the Sindh government which had allowed Bahria Town to have it in its control for ten years.
Meanwhile, in its reply to the court’s orders, the provincial government vehemently opposed the petitions and asked the court to dismiss them.
The government said that the notification was issued in accordance with the law and after the approval of competent authorities and the petitioners’ requests were “without merit and justification”.

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