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Int’l heritage site Shahi Qila turns into wedding hall in Lahore

LAHORE: The international heritage site, Shahi Qila (Fort of Lahore), has been turned into an event place for the valima ceremony of a top industrialist’s son, ARY News reported on Friday.

Despite being listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Site which restricts organisation of public or private events, the concerned body, Walled City of Lahore Authority (WCLA) has permitted the arrangements of a valima ceremony at the Fort’s Royal Kitchen.

At least 300 persons have been hosted in the event while several fancy canopies and powerful sound system were installed for entertaining the guests at the Lahore Fort (Shahi Qila).

The footages obtained by ARY News showed the arrangements made for the ceremony and the mountains of garbage at the internationally recognised cultural heritage site (Shahi Qila) in Punjab’s capital. It also showed that a portion of Sheesh Mahal, located in the Shah Burj block of the Fort was also used in the event.

When contacted with WCLA marketing director Asif Zaheer, he rejected categorically for the organisation of any event within the premises of the Fort (Shahi Qila).

Lahore Fort Shahi Qila wedding hall heritage site Sheesh Mahal

The chairman of Heritage Foundation of Pakistan, Yasmeen Lari, said she was shocked over the report as the heritage sites must not be allowed to host private events that dent its integrity.

She added that the government is the custodian of Lahore Fort, whereas, the court orders had also restricted all authorities to allow events at the sites. Lari also demanded the government to take strict action against the responsible persons.

WCLA director-general Kamran Lashari told ARY News that the ceremony was not held inside Sheesh Mahal as it was organised at Royal Kitchen of the Fort.

Lashari said that the kitchen’s area was also the part of national heritage and the arrangement of the event is a condemnable act. The WCLA top officer said that the authority is going to take strict action over the violation of regulations.

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