Grave concerns about Bahauddin Zakariya shrine

Sources said when the PAD took up the issue with the Auqaf Department, it said it had Chief Minister Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi’s permission. According to Clauses 5 and 11 of the Punjab Premises (Preservation) Ordinance of 1985, however, no such additions and alterations are allowed.

The PAD wrote to the culture and information secretary about the clear violation of law and requested immediate action. In the letter written to Taimur Azmat Osman, PAD Director General Oriya Jan Maqbool said, “We request approaching the chief minister for immediate withdrawal of the orders allowing the Auqaf Department to allot graves on the shrine’s premises.”

“Since these orders contravene the Punjab Special Premises (Preservation) Ordinance, 1985 and the act will deface the shrine and damage its heritage value, we request the matter to be dealt with as top priority,” the letter said. The shrine together with Shah Rukn-e-Alam’s tomb is Pakistan’s prominent heritage site in Multan and the PAD has received the internationally recognised Aga Khan Award for the site’s protection and restoration.

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