Authorities on Friday began restoration work on a park outside former finance minister Ishaq Dar 's residence in Lahore.
Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Saqib Nisar had given 10 days to Lahore Development Authority (LDA) to restore a Gulberg park, the land of which was earlier altered to build a road leading to the residence of former finance minister Ishaq Dar .
The top judge was surprised to know that the LDA DG had shifted the status of the park into a roadside just on the phone call of the former finance minister.
“Bureaucrats have become slaves of political commands,” CJP Nisar remarked while expressing anger over conversion of the park’s land into a roadside for the parking convenience of the former minister.
He was hearing a suo motu notice at the Supreme Court Lahore Registry taken on conversion of the park into a roadside in front of the house of Ishaq Dar . Justice Umar Ata Bandial and Justice Ijazul Ahsan were the other members of the bench.
Following the court orders, Lahore Development Authority Director Zahid Akhtar Zaman appeared before the court and said the former finance minister wanted construction of the road for the convenience of the local community.
When the court asked him why the public park was converted into a road, he failed to submit the reply and said around Rs 2 million were spent on the construction of the road.
CJP Nisar, addressing the officer, said: “What kind of officer are you? You converted the park land into a road just on the phone call of a minister.” The CJP said now the LDA would face the punishment. He regretted when the officer said he never visited the place.
“Why should we not send the matter to the NAB?” the CJP asked the LDA DG who started apologising to the bench.
LDA DG Zahid Akhtar Zaman tendered unconditional apology for the delinquency he showed by following the verbal orders of the ex-minister. With shaking voice, the DG said: “I did my first mistake in discharge of official duty and I apologise for it.”
The chief justice observed the court could order the recovery of the amount spent on the construction of the park from the personal bank accounts of the finance minister. The LDA DG said the bank accounts of Dar had been frozen due to the NAB references against him and he was out of the country.
The CJP directed the LDA DG to restore the park to its original condition and submit a compliance report within 10 days. Justice Nisar also issued notices to the LDA director general and Dar to decide whether the amount to be incurred on the restoration should be recovered from the LDA chief or the former finance minister. The court adjourned further hearing until April 7.