—CDA official informs court one side of Sharah-e-Suharwardy is still under ISI’s control
–Defence Ministry claims maintenance work is being done on the lane
ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar on Thursday rejected the explanation given by the Ministry of Defence over the continued closure of Aabpara road, even after court orders.
In October 2018, the apex court had given the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) four more weeks to reopen the Shahrah-e-Suharwardy at Aabpara junction. Earlier in 2008, following terrorist attacks on several government buildings, the ISI had closed the main artery and on July 6, the court had ordered for the roadblocks to be removed within two months.
As the court heard the case, a representative of the Ministry of Defence informed the CJP that the road had been handed over to “someone”, however, maintenance work was still being performed.
Then, the roads director of the Capital Development Authority (CDA) said that one side of the road was under the ministry but “they have kept the other to themselves due to security concerns”.
Reasoning that double-sided traffic cannot pass through one side, he informed that they are trying to expand the road.
At this, the top judge rebuked the officials concerned that “orders are not being acted upon”. He said that the court had ordered to clear all roads in Pakistan, however, “they” are special so they were given exemptions.
Then, he directed CDA to submit an application explaining that it has not been given control of both sides of the road and attach pictures as documentary evidence.
Last March, the apex court had taken suo motu notice of the closure of road leading to the Aabpara Market while hearing a separate case against the CDA. Justice Nisar had remarked, “We will not allow the barricading of roads on the pretext of security.”