Thursday, December 8, 2022

‘We can’t take back our order’: SC refuses to halt Tariq Road mosque demolition

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ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed a plea seeking review of its order regarding the demolition of a mosque built on an amenity plot at Karachi’s Tariq Road.

An apex court bench headed by Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed took up the case.

Attorney General of Pakistan (AGP) Khalid Javed Khan requested the bench to review its Nov 28 order, stating that it was creating religious tensions with questions being raised.

The country’s top judge suggested that the Sindh government can allot an alternative plot for the mosque. “We have seen the park [where the mosque now stands] with our eyes,” he remarked.

“Religion is being used to encroach upon lands,” Justice Qazi Ameen, a member of the bench, lamented.

“All we can do is to order a halt to the demolition of the mosque until an alternative place is provided,” Justice Gulzar said.

The AG said the Sindh government is not a party to the case and pleaded the top court to summon a detailed report from the provincial government on the matter.

“We can’t take back our order,” the chief justice said. “Should we withdraw all our orders this way?” he asked.

The attorney general insisted that the SC stay the demolition of the mosque until the submission of a report in this regard by the Sindh government.

Justice Gulzar, however, clarified that the SC order regarding the removal of encroachment from the park will not be withdrawn. “What’s the point of the proceedings if we start taking back our orders?” he questioned.

Adjourning the case until Jan 13, the top court directed the Sindh government to submit a report in the case within three weeks.

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