ISLAMABAD: Justice Gulzar Ahmed of the Supreme Court (SC) on Friday directed Capital Development Authority (CDA) Chairman Amer Ali Ahmed to launch a criminal investigation into the alleged misconduct of the Authority’s officials.
The judge also told the chairman to recover money from officials accused of causing financial losses to the body. The remarks came during a hearing pertaining to encroachments by Centaurus Mall – a skyscraper in the heart of Islamabad.
According to the audit report 2015-16, the Mall has encroached on over 40 kanals of CDA-owned land worth Rs10 billion and is being run without obtaining a completion certificate, i.e. permission to occupy, from the Capital Development Authority’s Building Control Section.
During the hearing, Justice Ahmed, who is set to become the Chief Justice of Pakistan on Dec 21, lashed out against capital authorities for “ruining Islamabad” and regretted that the construction of high-rise buildings had been approved on directions by politicians.
“Don’t earthquakes hit this city?” he inquired.
He regretted that there was almost no public transport in the capital since 1960.
“There is one shaking Metro running [in Islamabad]. There is no rickshaw in sight,” he observed. “Bring in rickshaws, show people your culture.”
The judge also expressed annoyance at overseas Pakistanis’ “refusal to work in the country”.
“Overseas Pakistanis are running the transport system in London. Our best town planners have gone to America and Canada. They say that they cannot work in a jungle. Their refusal [to work in Pakistan] is a slap on their and the country’s face.”
The judge also pointed out the deteriorating situation of the capital’s roads and said: “One fears of running into a footpath while driving on the Kashmir Highway.”
Justice Ahmed told National Highway Authority chairman to present a report on the action taken in accordance with the court’s orders. He also directed the interior secretary to submit a report on solutions to administrative problems.
The hearing was then adjourned for six weeks.