PAD accuses Auqaf of modifying historic structures

A PAD official said that the Auqaf Department had never sought permission for renovation work. He said that the department employed its own consultants. He said that the PAD had experts working on various monuments in different areas for restoration work. The experts are trained in handling the materials employed in the original constructions, he said.

The PAD official said that the administrative authority of these shrines fell under the Auqaf Department. Restoration work and reconstruction are the PAD’s responsibility, he added. He said that the main problem was that there was no representative of the PAD in the Auqaf Department. The department has taken its own initiative without properly consulting the PAD concerning repairs, he said. He said that some of the shrines had been bulldozed to make way for commercial development.

The official said that no proper system had been established for renovations. He said that the Auqaf authorities were unaware of conservation methods. He said that the Auqaf Department has the authority only to construct new ques and shrines. He said that according to the orders of the Supreme Court, the Auqaf Department cannot as much as hammer a nail in a wall without permission from the PAD.

According to the PAD, the Bulleh Shah shrine in Kasur, Baba Farid Shakar Ganj’s que in Pakpattan, Sabir Wali Ullah in Lahore, Peer Makki shrine, Data Sahab and Madhu Lal shrine have all been altered.

A total of 400 shrines are managed by the Auqaf Department. Of these, 34 structures have been radically altered. The PAD has started the restoration of these, including the Badshahi Masjid, Masjid Wazir Khan, Hazrat Abul Muali’s shrine, Hazrat Shah Chiragh’s shrine, Sonerhi Masjid, Hazrat Data Ganj Bukhsh’s shrine, Hazrat Eishan Sahib’s shrine, Hazrat Mian Mir’s shrine, the Bibi Pak Daman shrine, Hazrat Shah Rukne Alam’s shrine, Hazrat Bahaud Din Zakariya’s shrine, Hazrat Shah Shams Sabzwari’s mausoleum, Hazrat Makhdum Rashid’s shrine in Multan, Hazrat Mahboob Subhani’s shrine in Uch Sharif, Masjid-i-Hajaat, Hazrat Rajan Qattal’s shrine, Jalal-ud-Din Bukhari’s shrine in Uch Sharif. Hazrat Ala-ud-Din Mauj Darya’s shrine in Pakpattan, Hazrat Karoh Lal Eisan’s shrine in Layyah, Harat Khawaja Ghulam Farid’s shrine in Kot Mitthan, Daud Bandagi’s shrine in Shergarh, Hazrat Sakhi Sarwar’s shrine in DG Khan, Hazrat Sultan Ahmad Qattal’s shrine in Jalalpur Pirwala, Hazrat Nau Lakh Hazari’s shrine in Shahkot, Shahi Masjid in Chiniot, shrine of Shah Sadiq Nihang in Sherkot.

Auqaf Department zonal administrator, Tasawar Ejaz Malik said that the PAD’s position would be discussed at a meeting of senior officials.

Auqaf Department secretary, Raess Abbas Zaidi, claimed that there was no need for an NOC. “The Auqaf Department has been depositing funds with the PAD for renovating and changing structures. Everything was done in consultation with the PAD.” He admitted that the shrines’ original structures had been changed. He said that ques and markets had been built on the land. The shrines combine the old and new styles, he said. He said that these changes were necessary to meet public demands and could not be avoided.

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