Tag Archives: heritage

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Photo of the Day: A Hindu Temple in Sanda

Hindu Temple

The Photo was taken by @ShirazHassan

WRIT PETITION FILED IN LAHORE HIGH COURT TO RESTORE JAIN MANDIR IN LAHORE AND OTHER MINORITY WORSHIPING PLACES THROUGHOUT PAKISTAN

On   20th May 2014 a Writ Petn   SYYED MOHUMMED JAWAID IQBAL JAFREE OF SLARPORE  versus STATE through CHIEF SECRETARY , GOVT OF PUNJAB AND OTHERS (INCLUDING PUBLIC AT LARGE) was filed at Lahore High Court   .. Writ Petition 13953 of 2014.
It was Preliminarily heard by MR JUSTICE Mansoor Ali Shah.
HE ORDERED THAT NOTICES ISSUE TO RESPONDENTS , AND THE cHIEF secretary (HIMSELF NOT A JOINT SECRETARY OR SECTIONN OFFICER) HEAR JAFREE PERSONALLY ON 26TH MAY Monday AND PASS A SPEAKING ORDER WITHIN ONE MONTH.. THE WRIT WOULD BE HEARD FURTHER ON 26TH June.
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The Writ also asks that national hero Shaheed BHAGHHAT SINGH be honoured with highest national honour NISHANE PAKISTAN and Post Office ordered to issue commemorative stamps, even though he is Sikh.
The Writ by Syyed Iqbal Jafree extensively quotes Constn and the Holy Quran; that places of minority worshipfulness are cultural heritage which should not be discriominated against or maligned.
I copy of the Writ has been mailed to Shri  Mahendra Kumar Mast in Chandigarh.
There is much apathy re minorities in india and Pakistan. They must now  wake up and strive for progress and change and prlogressivity orientation.
I did receive a phone calls from some Jain Trust in Bombay moments before I appeared before Lahore High Court Justice Mansoor ali shah re this matter.
But no further call.
All expenses of this Writ were borne by THE SHAHZADI MUMTAZ JAHAN TRUST. If any Indian organization or individual wants to take part in  this Litigation they must sent POWER OF ATTY to Jafree (who charges no fees) , but it must be legalized by Pakistan High Commission OR by some Pak Embassy elsewhere.
Next Court hearing is 26th June.
Regards
BARRISTER SYYED MOHUMMED JAWAID IQBAL JAFREE OF SLARPORE AND SUMMA-SATTTTTA, Senior Advoc Sup Ct of Pakistan , PC
MA LLM PhD HonLLD FRSA Paris Biennale Laureate.
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LHC WRIT   ———–OF 2014; Jafree versus State (Religion)  RE FREEDOM OF RELIGION, FILED 19TH MAY 2014
BISSMILLAW :: URGENT FOR  TUESDAY, the 20th MAY 2014  (OFFICE NOT TO S V P  WASTE  TIME)

IN THE HONOURABLE LAHORE HIGH COURT, LAHORE

(Public Interest) Farze Kaffaya Application              ……….         WP _______________/2014

BARRISTER SYYED MOHUMMED JAWAID IQBAL JAFREE OF SLARPORE, BRIGHTON, PACIFIC PALISADES and SUMMA-SATTTTTA (“JAFREE”),( (General Counsel: THE SHAZADI MUMTAZ JAHAN TRIUST ( A WAKF ) + GEOFFREY+KHITRAN, (PUBLIC INTEREST LAW FIRM))) , 11 RIGHTEOUS CALIPH OMER (RA) PLAZA, ONE MOZANG ROAD,  VICINITY OF THE SACRED JAIN MANDIR . LAHORE-54000, PAKISTAN. …………………                                                                   Writ PETITIONER / INFORMANT/  AND  APPLICANT.

Versus

(1) THE STATE, through THE CHIEF SECERETARY, GOVT. OF PUNJOB, LAHORE, PAKISTAN;  (2) THE FEDERATION through THE CABINET SECRETARY, GOVT. OF PAKISTAN, ISLAMABAD-44000;  (3) THE SECRETARY, MINISTRY OF RELIGION, GOVT. OF PUNJOB, CIVIL SECTT, LAHORE-54000; (4) THE DIRECTOR-GENERAL, PAKISTAN POST OFFICES, GOVT. OF PAKISTAN, ISLAMABAD-44000;  (5) AAAAWWWWWAAA -AAAMMMMMMNNAAAAASSSS  (Public- at- Large) Properly (as Proper Party):        RESPONDENTS.

VERIFIED , SOLEMN AND VERILY -SUCCINCT  POST-NEW NATIONAL JUDICIAL POLICY IMPLEMENTATION  MERITORIOUS  APPLICATION FOR ORDERS AND DIRECTIONS AND  DECLARATORY JUDGMENT ++ HONEST-TO-GOODNESS HOLISTIC AND GENEROUSLY-THOUGHTFUL  JUDICIAL RELIEF/ REVIEW  PLUS  JUSTICE-WITH-LOVE (ADDL BILL EHSAWN) CONCERNING FRUCTIFICATION OF  FREEDOM OF RELIGION OF VULNERABLE / WORTHY MINORITIES  ((( ( E.G., THAT JAIN AND HINDU MANDIRS/ TEMPLES AND  THE SIKH  GURDAWARAS  IN  THE ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF PAKISTAN BE RESTORED, DECENTLY KEPT UP  AND NOT ALLOWED TO BE ABUSED BY GOONS  (AND SCURRILOUS  EXCUSES NOT MINTED) + THAT ‘MARTYR BHAGHAT SINGH’ – – OUR  NATIONAL HERO FROM LYALLPUR (a.  k. a. FAISALABAD)  BE AWARDED NISHANE PAKISTAN (RETROSPECTIVELY) ++  AND THE  PAKISTAN POST OFFICE   ISSUE COMMEMORATIVE POSTAGE  STAMPS REVERENTIALLY   HONOURING AND   CELEBRATING HIS OUTSTANDING STATUS + AUSPICIOUS  MEMORY )))  AND CONSCIENCE PURSUANT TO CONSTITUTIONAL  ARTICLES 199, 194, 187-190, 2A to 10A, 19, 23, 25, 30-40, 227 (AND PENUMBRAS THEREOF)  AND PER ORDER 27A (NOT answer-ing letters  or not addressing grievances may please  be boldly declared to be unconstitutional and against salient  principles of good governance, such practices  must be unequivocally, at long last,  banned/forbidden ) , SECTION 151, 94 CPC,  READ WITH ARTICLE 164 of PAKISTAN LAW OF EVIDENCE (QANUN-E SHAHADAT), AND SECTION 42  of the SPECIFIC RELIEF ACT ++ OTHER  LAWS , (DOMESTIC AND INTERNATIONAL) OF PAKISTAN. EXEMPLARY INDEMNITY COSTS BE generously AND EXEMPLARILY AWARDED AS ROLE MODEL because conduct and hideous maladministration (in fact machinations and misconduct) have been disgraceful  as well as disgusting. Smug Atty.Gen+ Advs.Gen. have not taken any remedial action because they are (not  Ramday) Patronage and Pelf-Begets no’’merit  illicit appointees.

Typed and conscientiously Filed  by Barrister SyyedMohummed Jawaid Iqbal Jafree without charging any fees or expense, emailpihrights@gmail,.com+ phone 0345 426 6785 or after 3 pm Gulberg Public Interest Law Offices PIHR/G+ 0092 42 3578 5025). Filing costs fearlessly  contributed by The SMJ Trust (a Wakf). {{Time spent on preparing this Writ 24 Hours.}}.

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LHC WP———–2014, JAFREE versus STATE (JAIN)  RELIGION FILED ON 19th MAY 2014, Part 2

               Respectfully Represents Your Petitioner in Performing Farze Kaffaya and as personally  Aggrieved and Affected  Party               T  H  A  T:

1.  PARTIES:  Applicant Jafree (an affected party as vakeel and mussawere and scholar of cultural heritage)  is a denizen of Pakistan, a Muslim (and direct descendant from Holy Prophet Mohummed, S A W,  (“The Highest Jihad is Speaking Up before Powers That Be!!”)  as well as Caliph Imam Ali K A W); he is distantly also  related to The Righteous Caliph Omer RA who said ‘an acceptor of wrong is worse than the wrongdoer’. Furthermore,  has been a lawyer/barrister/ vakil + mussawere of/f and  in Pakistan and abroad for over 55 calendar years with the grace of God treating advocacy as a noble calling, and calling a spade a shovel. As an artist and aesthete (he visits architectural / interfaith / cultural heritage of nation/s; more so in his nuclear neighborhood). He is the one and the only Paris Biennial Laureate , left  in the Asia-Pacific-Africa Triangle.  Obtaining justice in Pakistan had become, pre-NNJP,  practically quite  uphill since circa 1985.  (B) Respondents and other parties are well described (which took over SIX hours to type ought) and addresses for Service of Process are given on page 1.  Supreme Court of Pakistan has lately  repeatedly directed (and even its obiter dicta must be obeyed as a matter of Rule of Law and Access to Justyice) that minorities’ rights cannot be violated. And no one is above the law. Albert Einstein declared : IF I WERE TO REMAIN SILENT, I’D BE GUILTY OF COMPLICITY.  (C)  Let’s practice what we were preached and what we have been preaching (tolerance towards other faiths and religions). Vakil means facilitator of Justice-with-love (i.e.. Addl Bill Ehsawwn).  Islam gave the world concepts of Due Process of Law (Bill Haaq) and Rajoo (Writs Error Coram Nobis and Vobis) and Equal Protection of Law for one and all without discrimination or Segregation, Make-Believe or Double Standards. (D)  In stead,  our Establishment (in all wings of Government of Pakistan) greedily got intofor the sake of  race  Plots, Peccadilloes, Pelf, Patronage, Progeny-Peddling, peacocking  Promotions , Protocol pursuits, Pettiness Pandering, Plentiful  Plots ,  and Perverting Procedure, Poly-Plotting, P’Ring,  paralegal Piri-mureedii, Preposterous Propaganda, Pestering Pomposity, et al.

2. (A)CONTINUING CAUSES OF ACTION: Today, we are accurately  being chided by the civilized societies of the global village  as nothing but a  Failed, Rogue and Dangerous, Terrorism-Oriented  State. ‘Buy the People’; ‘Far The People’ and ‘Off the Peapull’, in practice. ©  In Gujranwala opening butchers’ shops in a Jain Temples takes the caKKKe. Architectural and cultural heritage of Pakistan is being dismantled, distorted and maligned.  This is forbidden by religion and by our Constitution.  Jafree sent thousands of complaints to various authorities since 1985. No reply. Arrogance and double standards permeate. Jafree learned (verbally)  that few years ago Chief Minister of Punjob Mian Shabaaz SharrReef allocated some Rs 20 Lakhs for repairing The Jain Temple, but the public  moneys were corruptly usurped and squandered by the staff.  (B)  Our Holy Prophet ( s a w)  and Jafree’s most venerable  ancestor Prophet Mohummed (P b u h) and the Holy Quran state that there is no compulsion in religion and Prophet Mohummed (P b u h) used to routinely  allow followers of other religions/ faiths to perform their religious duties in the Mosque, because all  temples/ churches/ pagodas/ temples/ mandirs and synagogues are all places of God All Mighty not anyone’s personal or personnel or professional property, Realty® or reality.  The Jains are peace-loving and non-violent hardworking  people. Also parsees, Hindus, Buddhists, Christians, Sikhs  (please, do recall Holy-man MahaGuru Nanak Dev Jii enthusiastically   performed two hajjs by foot, but he righteously  became significantly  disappointed/ irritated by our moolah-oriented  mulLAWS). Furthermore,  Jews or The Others ( discrete Minorities) who in/voluntarily  left Pakistan due to political exploitation or intolerance (by our socalled Elite nouveau riche segment) have committed no wrong against Pakistan. Quaide Azam Mohummed Ali Jinnah must be turning in his grave. (C)  Jain Mandir near Jafree Law Offices has been grossly violated, debilitated and politically-sponsored  LAND mAFIA and Sir Nawazzz SharrrrReef (BA HonGCMG, previously also claiming to be MA+ LLB)  aficionados have opened up garbage and other commercial and untenable  shops there. Similar and other  Jain Mandirs in other parts of Pakistan have been and are continuingly being  desecrated and violated (See the  Documentation in the accompanying Documentation). Similarly churches, pagodas, other places of non-Moslem worships have been commercially exploited and are being  wrongfully and maliciously being constantly and continually desecrated which is intolerable as  crying shame and constitutional wrongs (OUTRAGES).  In  other civilized countries such matters are vigorously  litigated by law Officers, here the  ‘’’ Ganges flows upside down’’’ and in reverse, and far worse.

GROUNDS  : The  pernicious misconduct, obstinacy  and callous maladministration of Respondents 1 to 4 and their subordinates and colluding  colleagues are  illegal, unconstitutional,  mala fide and disastrous,  militate against    good governance , common weal and public interest (see page 1). Attorney General and all Advocates Generals have failed to respond affirmatively or to provide any relief whatsoever to date in spite of countless requests. They don’t seem to be interested in  common good or good governance, but pine for  personnel promotions and personal loyalty to their nouveau riche, greed and territory/TURF control and constitutes blindly following the current  ‘fiendish-ing’   Overlards. That goes beyond Just Expectations, Margin of Appreciation, Doctrine of Subsidiarity as well as all tenets of Good Governance and  Proportionality. It makes no sense whatever  and in fact is disgraceful and beyond redemption and suc h callousness is bringing bad name to Pakistan as well as Islam. This must now be nipped if Pakistan is to survive. Discrete and vulnerable minorities asre suffering immeasurable and incalculable harm is being catered and being done. All affirmative equities weigh in favour of providing actual substantive relief.

T H E R E F O R E

(i) Relief humbly  requested above (also see Overleaf)  be granted (on standing and other aspects,  please See   MALICK versus MALICK [1925] 52AC 145 (Privy Council upholding Nagpur High Court judgment; Objective Resolution is the  grundnorm: PLD 1990 K 342)) generously, inter alia,   by virtue of  a DeclARATION PRELIMINARY AND PERPETUAL. The Honourable Court declare the rights, responsibilities and duties of the Parties (this is the current mode of providing holistic  relief – – without beating about the bushes or Bushes and Barrick Hussein Osamas (Obama so written in Kenya) in all Common Law an d other civilized jurisdictions). (ii)  Respondents be commanded to protect the Jain Mandirs and other places of worship of discrete and vulnerable minorities (belonging to Islamic or any other faith).  (iii) The Jain Mandir, near Geoffrey and Khitran Law Offices close to Old Anarkali and Lytton (Janazgah) Roads in Lahore  be suitably  repaired and restored; (iv)  and the Jain Mandirs in  Gujranwala be ordered  vacated most expeditiously  and appropriately  restored. More so the CRUEL AND UNUSUAL “PUNISHMENT” (FOR PURPOSES COMMERCIAL AND dispensing  POLITICAL ARROGANCE, Might is Righteousness) Butcher Shops opened in Gujranwala  Jain and/or Hindu Mandirs/Temples  be closed and destroyed and Jains be allowed to visit these mandirs and perform their rituals,  ceremonies and  carry out traditional cleansing operations. (v)  A Jain pandit or Temple-keeping person be allowed to reside in each province of Pakistan to look after their mandirs and temples. No shops, other operatrions should remain IN  THESE and other places of worship.  (vi) And respondents’ worsening inefficiency and  habit, under colour of law and otherwise,  of not answering letters (violates inter alia  Sections 23,24,27 of the General Clauses Act, and p. 578, Volume  VI, Muariffe Quran published by the University of the Punjob)) be declared to be unconstitutional and against public interest and common good.  (vii) Court Proceedings be ordered  officially tape-recorded. (viii)  Further, other and additional Relief be granted. (ix) All places of minority worship and other sacred places of offering  prayers  should be restored gradually and looked after. (x)  The Honourable  Court unequivocally declare the religious rights of Minorities of all religions and declare Sectarianism, blasphemous  or prejudicial practices as illegal and reprehensible , to wit: subject to severest  sanctions and actual  punishment for  Contempt, obstruction of justice, sabotaging of the Constitution and other penal proceedings and sternest  penalties and exactions. (xi) to me your faith, to me my faith (God in Holy Quran, 109:6)+Let there be no compulsion in religion, Quran 2:256 + Surely the noblest amongst you is the most knowledgable, Holy Quran 49:13. + So vie with one another in  good works (Quran, 5:48) + God does not like harsh accusations except by the wronged, Quran 4:148-149.  (xii) (a)  Always go too far .. for that is where you will find the truth:  Albert Camus.(b)  Truth shall make you free (Saint John)

Jafree, most humbly,  offers to prove up all of the above per Pakistan Law of Evidence Order (Qanune Shahadat) which includes innovative  telltale Article 164 as part of the law of the land.

  • Before concluding Applicant humbly but responsibly  reminds the  Honourable Court that our Holy Prophet, peace be upon him,  calibrated : The ink of a scholar is worthier than the blood of many-splendoured martyrs.
  • Great and Righteous Caliph (then concurrently  the Chief Justice of the biggest Empire of that time on the face of the Good Earth) HaZrat Umer RA warned : EVEN IF   A DOG ROAMS  HUNGRY ALONG THE banks of  RIVER EUPHRATES,  I WILL BE HELD STRICTLY  accountable and fully  RESPONSIBLE. HE STRONGLY and sternly   CONDEMNED HYPOCRISY AS THE LEAST FORGIVABLE OF SINS. THAT SQUARELY  APPLIES, MUTATIS MUTANDIS,  TO THE BANKS OF  our own  DOMESTIC  RAVI… NOW – –  what a shame – –  THAT  HALF OF THE COUNTRY’S  INNOCENT DENIZENS  ARE GOING WITHOUT PROPER MEALS A DAy .
  • MashawLAW :  Our Judges of the superior judiciary  are the highest paid in tax free overall terms  ( their remunerations inluding  multifaceted perks and privileges of all kinds  worth taxfree many  Millions a month besides salary + retirement benefits and new plump positions and prestige after Retirement)  in the history of mankind. Besides and beyond that  it is their inherent and innate  duty AND RESPONSIBILITY   to  actually and fearlessly provide nothing less than COMPLEAT AND HOLISTIC  justice across the board to one and all .Moreover,   HONESTLY all residents, denizens and citizens of Pakistan must  respect REAL  merit and GENUINE  tacqva.
  • There exists  no reprieve, forgivance,  immunity or impunity for In Justice = injustice. No one is above the law except God. We, all of us in the Legal Calling , ought ethically and conscientiously   serve as example makers, as upfront  role models and guide the world by setting examples. We cannot walk with our heads high by operating as functional ostriches. The religion of our massive majority demands sacrifices and speaking up, giraffe like performance without fear or favour .. to do Right with all kind of people. This was not being done pre-NNJP.

Oral arguments will, inshawLAW,  be made which the court which  is requested and most  welcome to officially Tape record the proceedings. Incidentally work stoppages/ closures and Hartalls are illegal and anti-Islamic as obstruction of access to  justice and sabotaging of the  Constitution. A wrong is a wrong is a wrong by any other name or nomenclature. It must not be acquiesced in or encouraged as a public relations device of running with the turtle and  haunting with the greyhounds. It is dreadful and disastrous. We have to turn the page and make a paradigm shift from newfound and past practices.

Respectfully Submitted:

AGGRIEVED PETITIONER/ APPLICANT SIMULTANEOUSLY  GENUINELY-PERFORMING FARZE KAFFAYA  AS AN OFFICER OF THE COURT AND AS NONSTATE ACTOR (PER ARTS. 2A-7, 9, 10  OF THE CONSTITUTION)       THROUGH

PRO BONO PUBLICO    COUNSEL    ::   BARRISTER SYYED MOHUMMED JAWAID IQBAL JAFREE OF SLARPORE AND SUMMA-SATTTTTTA’      ASC PC     1382    “A WORLD CLASS PUBLIC INTEREST Lawyer” per Honorable Lahore High Court…

CERTIFICATE OF COUNSEL :

All administrative or other remedies have been explored and exhausted  over last  5 years. No other  relief is available or proficient and efficacious. The CVourts must take the bull by the horn. This is first writ on the subject per instructions. Counsel’s  discounted fee as Indemnity Costs is U S  $786.92 only  per hour. Income tax is voluntarily and promptly  paid by this Ethical counsel within 48 hours of receipt of any fees or Indemnity Costs. Fees are not banked abroad. SO HELP ME GODAS PAKISTAN IS DROWNING IN indigenously-manufactured  ‘IN’ INJUSTICE (“In” is fashionable, currently trendy). The world ridicules and mocks us with  lamentable derision and distrust. Extremis malis .. extrema remedia!! I thank God that am not one of those (totally power crazy- in actuality  pygmies) who share  or can claim any sanctimony or  ‘credit’ or plots for any part in that dismal  outcome. I have faithfully practiced law as a noble calling against oddest hurdles  by not making speeches or begging patronage and  plots and favours for pogeny/ partners but by means and virtue of  (to borrow an apropos   Urdu expression) “cutting the stomach of my own nuclear family”. Abuse of merit in our God-fearing  Country has reached mega-proportions which invite the wrath and qehr of God All Mighty;  and nation’s traitors are  roaming scott free,  are being seen on the scene by proliferating companions (since the Bhutto days and nights)  modern day jajuz ‘n majooz maligning/ victimizing  the  innocent country,  decent/ virtuous  countrymen and worsening our conscience under stress for the sake of  their naked lust for power,  shameless turf control, perverse territory-snatching (previously plots in every town with false affidavits and 11 ft tall clout touting  and worsening perversion of power)  and furthering  murderous, hate-filled  bad Faith.

 
 

Jahangir’s Tomb, Lahore

The tomb of Emperor Jahangir who ruled India 1605-1027, is another jewel in the crown of Mughal architecture. The tomb is situated in Lahore, in Noor Jahan’s old pleasure garden known as Dilkusha Garden. The mausoleum is located at Shahdara on the banks of the Ravi, three miles northwest of the city. in the centre of which stands the magnificent sepulcher of Jahangir, considered by some to be the “finest ornament of Lahore,” and the “most magnificent edifice in the subcontinent after the Taj and the Qutub.”
The combination of red Sikri stone and white marble, an arrangement echoing Humayun’s tomb in Delhi, and a rare treat for Lahore not least for its intricate inlay, is impressive in its finesse and sophistication. Where the external expression is restrained in its dignified simplicity, internally decorative surfaces present you the best of tile mosaic and fresco that made Lahore famous in the whole of the Mughal Empire.
Following are some photos of the tomb “tweeted” by our twitter handle @lahorenama

 

Note: Info credit “ualberta” website, Photos credit “Kasim Osmani”.

The long road to ecological justice

We are posting this article by Ahmad Rafay Alam originally published in daily Dawn. In this article, Alam critically evaluates judicial proceedings with respect to the Lahore Canal Road project. The writer urges the government not to squander the heritage of the city for the “.. Canal Heritage Park is part of the Lahori psyche, as much as the Walled City, the Shalimar Gardens or halva puri. Civil Society must understand that as long as the city grows, pressures to sacrifice our heritage must be forever guarded against. The battle is and will remain ongoing…”  

LahoreCANALBefore parting with this judgment, we would like to acknowledge the admirable spirit demonstrated by petitioners’ organization, by those individuals, architects, urban planners, academics and students for protection of city’s ecological and environmental horizons. During hearing of this case, the Court was touched by the rainbow of idealism, of intellect, of architectural ability, of urban development and mental health expertise of graces and youthful exuberance… As long as this spirit is alive, we are sanguine, the authorities and the leadership would continue to be guided by the values of sustainable human and urban development.

— Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani, in SMC No. 25 of 2009

Following the September 2011 decision of the Supreme Court of Pakistan in Lahore Canal Road widening case (SMC No. 25 of 2009), the Government of Punjab wasted no time in cutting down trees to widen the road along the green belt for a stretch of the Lahore Canal. Many could be forgiven in thinking there was little other in the judgment of the Court, but they would be wrong. The widening of a limited stretch of road along the Lahore Canal was only one of 10 directions the Court had given. The first was that the entire length of the Lahore Canal and its green belt “shall be treated as a Heritage Urban Park forthwith and declared so by an Act to be passed by the Assembly…”The Punjab Assembly’s Standing Committee on Housing, Urban Development and Public Health Engineering held hearings in December 2012 where representatives of the Lahore Conservation Society, Lahore Bachao Tehreek and WWF-Pakistan provided input to the draft legislation prepared by the Government of Punjab. Although the law was being prepared in pursuance of the Court’s judgment, there were reservations against the draft, which allowed the Government of Punjab carte blanche, especially on the controversial issue of more infrastructure development along the Canal. Despite these reservations, the Lahore Canal Heritage Park Act, 2013 was passed on 14 January 2013, making it the first urban and heritage park legislation in Pakistan (other parks are protected by notification). It is also a major success for civil society in Lahore and Pakistan. How often can a civil society movement anywhere lay claim to have traversed the full spectrum of activism: from protest and advocacy to legislation and policy?

635175-canalroad-1385065076-324-640x480

The preamble to the Act provides “Whereas the Lahore canal and the green belts on both sides of the canal is a public trust and is part of the heritage of the city of Lahore; therefore, it is expedient to make provisions for the maintenance of a salubrious environment and conservation of the Lahore Canal as a heritage park; to preserve the flora and fauna of this heritage park; and to provide for ancillary matters.” The maintenance of the Heritage Park has been made the responsibility of the Parks and Horticulture Authority and an Advisory Committee established to advise the PHA on upkeep and maintenance.

The Act prohibits the construction on infrastructure, felling or damage of or to trees, pollution of water, hunting and use of firearms in the Heritage Park, but allows the PHA to give permission to any of these prohibited acts provided a list of criterion are met.

The Advisory Committee comprises nominees of government departments and civil society. The membership of the Advisory Committee was designed to ensure continuing civil society participation in decisions that would affect the Lahore Canal. However, by allowing the PHA the power to override the decisions of the Advisory Committee, the Act fails to properly value this participation.

The Advisory Committee has so far met thrice and has proposed rules of procedure for itself, has directed the delineation of the boundaries of the Heritage Park and is planning a tree master plan for the park. Once its rules of procedure are set, the Advisory Committee will be in a position to undertake initiatives in the Heritage Park.

canal-road

What has been surprising was the request, recently made at the 3rd meeting of the Advisory Committee, to consider a proposal for additional road-widening and three U-turns along the Canal. The Committee was told such an initiative would improve traffic congestion. However, I have my doubts. If the road widening of last year now requires another Rs. 400 million of infrastructure to “reduce traffic congestion” and Lahore still does not have a traffic or urban Master Plan, then there is grave risk that an ad-hoc initiative will be at the cost of legally protected heritage.

Civil Society must understand that the growth and development of Lahore will forever remain ongoing. What is important is that we give back to the city something that our children and their children can hold as heritage. The Canal Heritage Park is part of the Lahori psyche, as much as the Walled City, the Shalimar Gardens or halva puri. Civil Society must understand that as long as the city grows, pressures to sacrifice our heritage must be forever guarded against. The battle is and will remain ongoing.

The writer is a partner at Saleem, Alam & Company, and member of the Lahore Canal Heritage Park Committee

Lawrence and Montgomery Halls in Lahore

he Lawrence and Montgomery Halls in Lahore as photographed by James Craddock in the 1860s. The caption states “Two large Halls for public meetings built by subscription in honour of Sir John (now Lord) Lawrence and Sir Robert Montgomery. The latter is almost the finest room in India & is used for all the state durbars and Senate meetings, etc. The great ball to the Duke of Edinburgh was in this Hall.” Sir John Lawrence was first Chief Commissioner and Lt. Governor of the Punjab (1853-59) and went on to become Viceroy of India. Robert Montgomery was second Lt. Governor of the Punjab (1859-65). Sir Lawrence played a crucial role during the First War of Independence in 1857 by assuring the supply of troops from Punjab to Delhi. The neoclassical look of the halls was meant to inspire awe in the locals and reaffirm colonial authority after the war. The halls are now being used as the Quaid e Azam Library.
Photo Credit:  http://www.thefridaytimes.com/beta2/tft/article.php?issue=20111104&page=30

Lohari Gate of Lahore, A Rare Image.

A rare image of Lahori Gate, one of the 13 gates of Lahore. It was taken by an unknown photographer in 1900.

 

Posted by: Shiraz Hassan

 

 

 

Chauburji, Lahore. [1880s Pic]

Photograph of the Chauburji Gateway at Lahore,  taken by an unknown photographer in the 1880s, part of the Bellew Collection of Architectural Views. The Gateway of the Four Minarets or Chauburji was once the entrance to one of Lahore’s many pleasure gardens.

Posted by: Shiraz Hassan

Lohari gate – entrance with anti-itch remedies

Revisions to the ‘facts’ on Mubarak Haveli of Lahore

M has sent this piece for Lahore Nama shedding light on the well-known Mubarak Haveli located in old Lahore. This piece was written in response to the information found on this blog. I am publishing this ‘correction’ of facts for the readers. No wonder there is not a single history but several narratives of the past. Raza Rumi

•    During the rule of Muhammad Shah, three amirs namely Bahadur Ali, Nadir Ali, and Babur Ali constructed a haveli in Mochi Gate area. Coinciding with its completion Bahadur Ali was blessed with a son and thus the haveli was named Mubarak Haveli. Prince Shah Shuja ul-Mulk was made to stay at this haveli by Ranjeet Singh, who later forced the prince to surrender Koh-i-Noor to him. Continue reading

Explore the walled city of Lahore and its historic gates

Lahore is the capital of Punjab, the most populated province of Pakistan, and is known as one of the ancient cities in South Asia with its rich historical and cultural heritage.
The early history of the city is cloaked in obscurity and it is pretty difficult to establish exact date of its foundation. It was a town of not much importance in the first and second century of Christian era and was ruled by Rajput princes. In the eighth and ninth century, it became the capital of a powerful Brahman family, who, in the tenth century, were invaded by Sabuktagin and his son Mahmud Ghaznivide. For the next eight centuries, Lahore was ruled by different Muslim dynasties and served as the capital of Ghaznivides, Ghorians, and Mughals from time to time. At the onset of the 19th century, the Sikhs ascended to the throne of Punjab and Lahore was made the seat of government. Shortly after the death of Maharaja Ranjit Singh in 1839, the British defeated the Sikhs and took over their domains. It served as the capital of the undivided province of Punjab until 1947 under the British rule and after independence, it became the capital of the province of Punjab in Pakistan. Continue reading

Nadira Begum’s tomb – faded glory of Lahore

Saad Sarfraz Shiekh’s excellent article and photos

The tomb of Nadira Begum...

The tomb of Nadira Begum…

Finding Nadira Begum’s Tomb isn’t hard since its right next to Sufi Saint Hazrat Mian Mir’s shrine.

Nadira Saleem Banu was the wife of Mughal Prince Dara Shikoh, the ill-fated heir to Shah Jahan’s throne and the crown prince of his Indian empire.

She died in 1659, several months before Dara Shikoh execution, and was survived by two daughters. No sons survived thanks to Aurangzeb Alamgir, who got rid of all male threats.

Stories of Nadira Banu’s beauty and intelligence were famous throughout the empire. She was the daughter of Shah Jahan’s half-brother, Prince Perwez, and therefore Dara Shikoh’s cousin.

Her would-be husband Dara Shikoh was eager to marry her and had a good relationship with her throughout his turbulent life. He never remarried, in spite of the common Mughal practice of persistent polygamy and overflowing harems. Shah Jahan’s wife Mumtaz Mahal, Dara’s mother, arranged the marriage when both Dara and Nadira were teenagers.

Dara Shikoh’s sister Jahanara Begum got along with Nadira quite well, as reflected by her involvement and interest in Nadira’s wedding and her closeness to him. Continue reading

NECKLACE OWNED BY WIFE OF THE LAST SIKH RULER, THE LION OF THE PUNJAB, FOR SALE AT BONHAMS

An important 19TH Century emerald and seed-pearl Necklace from the Lahore Treasury, reputedly worn by Maharani Jindan Kaur wife of Ranjit Singh, the Lion of the Punjab (1780–1839), is for sale in Bonhams next Indian and Islamic sale on 8th October 2009 in New Bond Street.

The necklace has six polished emerald beads, one later converted to a pendant, each bead gold-mounted and fringed with seed-pearl drop tassels, fastened with a gold clasp. It comes with a fitted cloth covered case, the inside of the lid inscribed: “From the Collection of the Court of Lahore formed by HH The Maharajah Runjeet Singh & lastly worn by Her Highness The Late Maharanee Jeddan Kower” It is estimated to sell for £25,000-35,000. Continue reading

Abandoned pleasures

LAHORE: The paien bagh at the Lahore Fort is without visitors. The garden was adjacent to the sleeping chambers and was built by Emperor Jahangir in 1633AD. It was used only by the inmates of the emperor’s harem. Continue reading

Royal tombs in a shambles

Royal tombs in a shambles
Dawn Editorial

Sunday, 24 May, 2009

It seems that the Taliban are not the only ones who have little respect for national heritage.

Mughal Empress Noor Jehan (d. 1645) was prophetic when she composed the epitaph for her own grave. It runs thus: ‘Pity us, for at our tomb no lamp shall light, no flowers seen/ No moth wings shall burn, no nightingales sing’. What she did not foresee was that a similar fate would befall the nearby tombs of her brother Asif Khan and husband Emperor Jehangir at Shahdara. Continue reading

Lahore: Blossoms, bricks, bravura

Salma Mahmud recalls the beauty of Lahore’s past (The Friday Times)

Maharaja Sher Singh after
a royal bath

Raja Dina Nath was granted the title of Diwan
by Ranjeet Singh in 1826

Ranjit Singh holding a darbar

A malang dancing at Shah Hussain’s mazaar

The demolished Shivala used to be a gathering place for Kashmiri pundits

” align=”justify”>Some felt that Raja Dina Nath’s falseness was the means to his success, for he never hesitated in deserting a losing party or a falling friend. There were others who testified to his generosity towards faqirs and orphans

If one is to be unbiased, then one must admit that The Lion of the Punjab was a great lover of natural scenery and greenery. He passed an order that not a single spot of barren land should be visible along the five miles between Delhi Gate and Shalimar. The GT Road was thus lined on both sides by eager courtiers and noblemen vying with one another to plant trees, gardens, parks and green fields … Lahore was in truth turned into a city of gardens

FFor those who love Lahore there is a mystical connection between themselves and the city. Regardless of its current ravaged and bereft condition, it continues to tug at the heartstrings with its lure and lustre.

And as you drive along the old Shalimar Road, the mist is thick, grey, smoky. You can almost eat it. This ancient road is withdrawn, remote, secretive, compressed within itself, surrounded by its dreary new townships.

Yet it is still full of magic, the magic of things half-seen in a dream, the magic of the barely visible or the partly remembered, which is the very stuff of dreams. Wily Raja Dina Nath’s legendary garden exists in this dream to the east of the old road, laden with fragrant blossoms, fruit trees, fountains, pleasure domes and pavilions. And the ruins of Shah Bilawal’s Baradari lie crumbling along the way, where Ranjit Singh’s heir Maharaja Sher Singh and his seven year old son and his retainers were brutally murdered by the Sandhanwalia conspirators. Surely all that blood must still exist somewhere under the earth? And perhaps it will cry out one day against the Qabza group’s encroachments on the Sher Singh family samadhs. Latrines have been constructed through the retaining wall, into the mound atop which stand the sacred chatthris. What further desecration could be possible? Recall the exquisite painting of the young Sher Singh after his bath, sitting with his curling hair spread out over his shoulders, and recoil from the current morass.

‘Nadiyon paar Ranjhan da thaana,

Mintaan karaan malah dey naal

A turning to the left off the Grand Trunk Road takes you to the tomb of Shah Hussain, the 16th century Sufi saint, whose festival of lights Lahoris celebrated at the end of March. The entrance is marked with a gateway of brick composed of a multi-foil of several leaf-shaped curves, and a simple cusped projecting archway through which a few steps lead you into an elevated court. The enclosure of the tomb is large, with a small graveyard located on the east side. Somewhere here lies Ustad Daman, one of Lahore’s beloved icons, who spent the last years of his life in Shah Hussain’s Hujra, situated below a mosque near Heera Mandi.

A well adds ambience to the area, and large old trees provide shade and tranquility. Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s beautiful Muslim wife Moran, a former Amritsar courtesan, whom he affectionately called Moran Sarkar, built a small mosque in the environs of the tomb as a token of reverence for the saint. Unfortunately this entire structure has been demolished and rebuilt.

Ranjit Singh, apart from giving lavish donations to the shrines of Hazrat Mian Mir and Baba Farid, was a great devotee of Shah Hussain, and a sincere believer in his powers of performing miracles. Two of these are worthy of mention, the first being his reputed ability to change wine into milk and then back again into wine. He is alleged to have performed this miracle at the court of the Great Mughal, Akbar Badshah.

The second miracle was his supposed power to transport human beings from one place to another. He is said to have achieved this for his beloved disciple Madho, who expressed a wish to be with his parents at Haridwar, where they were performing their pilgrimage. His parents saw Madho bathing in the holy waters of the Ganga, which was considered adequate proof of Shah Hussain’s supernatural powers in this regard.

Maharaja Ranjeet Singh’s intensely controversial figure still permeates the area between the Fort and Shalimar. He used to celebrate both Basant and Mela Chiraghan with great enthusiasm at Shah Hussain’s mazar as well as at Shahjehan’s romantic garden. On Basant all his courtiers were ordered to wear yellow clothes, and much of the food served during the festivities was yellow in colour. His cavalry stood at attention on the route from Delhi Darwaza to Chah Miran, as he wended his way along the GT Road, with Moran riding beside him on an elephant. Dancing and singing and carousing were the order of the day on both occasions.

His forty year rule was a strictly secular one, and two of his most trusted advisors were the celebrated Faqir brothers, Nuruddin the Hakim who cured him of a severe eye infection, and Azizuddin his Foreign Minister. Of the latter’s tact and diplomacy there can be no greater proof than the celebrated anecdote when the Governor General of India, Lord Aukland, asked him which of the Maharaja’s eyes was the blind one. His reply was, ‘The Maharaja is like the sun, and the sun has only one eye. The splendour and luminosity of his single eye is so much that I have never dared to look at his other eye.’ The Governor General was so impressed by Faqir Azizuddin’s reply that he presented him with his gold wrist watch. (Incidentally, the left eye was the blind one.)

Of Ranjeet Singh’s Hindu advisors, the most intriguing is surely Diwan/Raja Dina Nath, of the large deep-set eyes and neatly clipped white beard, referred to as the Talleyrand of the Punjab. Dina Nath was a Kashmiri Brahmin who came to Lahore in 1815 and soon rose to prominence at the court due to his diligence and brilliance. In 1826 Ranjeet Singh gave him the title of Diwan and granted him many jagirs.

Revolutions in which his friends and patrons perished passed him by, and in the midst of bloodshed and assassination his life was never endangered. Some felt that his falseness was the means to his success, for he never hesitated in deserting a losing party or a falling friend. He maintained his position during the years of anarchy following Ranjeet Singh’s death, and in fact his prestige and power continued to rise. This clearly depicts the strength of his extraordinary talent and tact. Eventually the British made him Raja of Kalanaur in the Jullundhar area.

On the plus side he has been described as physically brave and morally courageous when the occasion demanded it, and thereby he was one of the most successful courtiers of the Lahore Durbar. Nur Ahmed Chishti in his ‘Tehqiqaat-e-Chishti’, praises his boundless generosity towards faqirs and orphans. Chishti’s father Ahmed Bukht Yakdil was tutor to Dina Nath’s family, so this information comes from the horse’s mouth so to speak.

The two elegant havelis that he built near the Wazir Khan Mosque still survive, with several families living in each one. However, the beautiful Shivala or temple complex that he constructed in 1835 near the junction of Vachchuwali and Mohalla Sareen was demolished in 2006 by the Pakistan Evacuee Trust Property Board, in order to make way for a commercial building. This Shivala was a gathering place for Kashmiri Pundits, all of whom worship Lord Shiva, and their celebrations at Shivratri used to be exceptionally grand. It was two storeys in height, containing a large central courtyard, in which stood a five foot high Makrana marble statue of Shiva in the celebrated Nathraj pose, placed on a large pedestal. The Shivala was constructed of red sandstone, with the main door being of engraved Burma teak. The inner walls Continue reading

Lahore’s history goes rack and ruin

Isambard Wilkinson, The National

Lahore – A project to save the architectural and cultural heritage of Lahore’s fabled Old City is foundering due to political instability and corruption, officials say.

The World Bank has offered US$10 million (Dh36.7m) to restore the 2.6-sq-km Old City, home to 145,000 of Lahore’s eight million population, but the so-called Sustainable Development Walled City project has become mired in bureaucracy and inertia.

Jewels of Moghul architecture have been neglected or poorly restored. Havelis, courtyard houses akin to Morocco’s highly prized riads, have been left to rot. Many of the city’s decorously carved wooden balconies, or jerokahs, have collapsed and the streets are squalid.

The city that was bought to life by writers ranging from the Moghul court chroniclers to the bard of the British Raj, Rudyard Kipling, and was once the capital of the Moghul and Sikh empires, is in a state of deep decay. Continue reading

Rewriting history -Government is considering to extend Lahore Museum

By Waqar Gillani writing for the News on Sunday

The expansion of Lahore Museum according to international standards, is yet to be seen. The old Tollington Market on The Mall which was decided to be used as an extension of the museum, is still locked..

The Tollington Market renovated a couple of years back, was formally inaugurated last year by the then governor. Only a lane divides the two buildings — Lahore Museum and Tollington. The Board of Governors (BoG) of the museum, in its 47th meeting, decided to set up a ‘City Museum’ in the Tollington Market, approving that the artefacts of national museum from the city could be shifted to this place. The board came to the conclusion that Tollington Market was the most suitable place for extension of the museum because of its proximity to the Lahore Museum and approved a subway to connect the Lahore Museum with Tollington Market.

The idea was to get the space to display its over 40,000 artefacts which are lying in the inventory for lack of space. They were scheduled to be displayed at the city museum at Tollington Market after its opening in September 2007. The Lahore Museum has over 60,000 artefacts in its possession. Since the museum did not have enough space, only 20,000 artefacts are on display there. Continue reading

Losing Lahore

Josh Loeb writing for this week’s Friday Times

Delhi Gate – entrance to the
“Royal Route”

The Dhai Anga Mausoleum

The derelict tomb of “Buddu,”
Dhai Anga’s husband

“Cities that survive and prosper are not cities which destroy their heritage. People don’t visit Paris because of business; they visit because it is a beautiful city”

“This country is strewn with heritage,” she continues. “Turn a stone and there’ll be something there. And it should not be the preserve of intellectuals – ordinary people are interested” – Yasmeen Lari

“He who has not seen Lahore has not been born,” the saying goes, yet speak to those interested in old buildings and they will tell you that Lahore is dying.

Earlier this year, English architectural historian Simon Jenkins issued a stark warning. “Lahore’s past is collapsing around it,” he wrote in a British newspaper. “Hovering over its ancient walls is a sense of utter neglect.” He went on to warn that cities that neglect their past endanger their future. If this true, Lahore’s future is bleak.

Take the mausoleum of Dhai Anga, wet nurse to Mughal Shah Jahan. Completed in 1671, the building is situated in what was once a rose garden but is now a mini-wasteland – the haunt of drug-addled young men who pace about with bloodshot eyes beneath the arches of the tomb’s chambers. Of the “beautiful enamelled tile mosaics” proclaimed on the information board outside there is now almost nothing left. Whilst funds are directed towards Lahore’s two world heritage sites – the Lahore Fort and Shalimar Gardens – other historic monuments are turning to dust.

Mohammad Imran makes a living guiding visitors around historic sights like the Dhai Anga Mausoleum.

“I want to see this building in a good condition,” he says. “I want to see a restoration but I want to see it done in the right way. A lot of buildings are restored half-heartedly. It should be restored to its original shape or else there is no point.”

Imran trots out the old refrain that antique buildings should be looked after for the sake of tourism (something with which Jenkins agrees). But Yasmeen Lari, Pakistan’s first female architect and the director of the Pakistan Heritage Foundation, takes a different view.

“I’m not bothered about tourists,” she explains. “Frankly, the way things are in the country right now, tourists are not going to come anyway. Conserving our heritage is something that should be done for our own pride and for social cohesion. It’s something to understand ourselves by.

“This country is strewn with heritage,” she continues. “Turn a stone and there’ll be something there. And it should not be the preserve of intellectuals – ordinary people are interested.”

Back at the Dhai Anga Mausoleum, two workers from the mysteriously (and perhaps misleadingly) named Archaeological Department are engaged in what appears to be dusting stones. “Small repairs,” explains one, Furqan Ullah, yet there remains an air of hopelessness about the endeavour. Continue reading

Wazir Khan Mosque suffers due to neglect

By Atif Nadeem (The NEWS)

THE Wazir Khan Mosque, which speaks volumes of richness of cultural heritage of the provincial metropolis, has suffered irreparable losses due to laxity of the Pakistan Archaeology Department and the Punjab Auqaf Department.

The mosque is a living embodiment of the sublime Mughal art but encroachments and dampness, which the officials of both the departments failed to control, have expedited erosion of its structure. Continue reading

Ahata Madhu Ram in Lahore – another case of neglect

Ahata Madhuram losing importance due to authorities’ neglect

By Ali Usman

LAHORE: Ahata Madhu-ram (Madhu-ram Compound) is an old site of archaeological importance situated in Old Anarkali’s Food Street. However, it has been losing its grandeur due to the negligence of the authorities concerned.

The ahata is more than 150 years old and has historic structures. Few people recognise it through its original name, as now it is popularly known as Butta Da Ahata (The Compound of Butts). A side lane of the Food Street leads into the ahata. Once the ahata used to have a wooden gate, which has now been replaced by a concrete gate. The structure of the wooden gate resembled the gates of the Walled City.

The corridor of the compound opens into a courtyard around which houses have been built in a circle. Around 17 families reside in the ahata, mostly Kashmiris who settled in it after 1947, when houses were allotted to them. The walls of the corridor have holes in which earthen-lamps could be found, when the ahata did not have electricity, as it is situated outside the city, resident Muhammad Anwar told Daily Times. Continue reading