Islamabad (Pakistan), December 8 (ANI). Pakistani authorities in Islamabad sealed Jinnah Avenue (and the Centaurus Mall) following the verbal altercation that took place between Prime minister Shehbaz Sharif with Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf leader Sardar Tanveer Ilyas. Sharif was seen gesturing at Ilyas, asking him to return to his seat. Witnesses claim that Sharif, having finished his speech, hurriedly fled the venue, without paying attention to Ilyas, the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) leader Sardar Tanveer Ilyas. The Dawn reported that Sharif claimed the mall was closed overnight as a form of political revenge.
The notice outside the mall said that the premises had been sealed because of non-conforming uses by director building control-city, CDA Capital Development Authority.
Video footage circulated on social media showing barbed wires placed outside of the mall and a police mobile unit parked nearby.
After the arrest of the mall president, the All Pakistan Anjuman-i-Tajiran (APAT), union of businessmen Ajmal Baloch staged a protest. He claimed that “the sealing off the mall is an act in revenge.”
He also stated that “acts of revenge” are not allowed to be used to affect the livelihoods of people.
He pledged that the traders’ community would not be made a “victim to political revenge” at all costs. “The traders’ community of Islamabad stands with the traders of Centaurus mall,” he stated, according to Pakistan Today.
Between 2014 and 2022, six notices were served by the Capital Development Authority to the mall. The notices began on March 7, 2014 and the last notice was issued on November 23, 20,22. There was no response to the notice warning about the possible “non-conforming usage” of the building.
The mall was ordered to be closed by an order dated December 2, 2022 for failing to “remove all building violations”. According to Pakistan Today, the notice said that the closing order was issued following the “continued non-compliance to address building violations” served via multiple 15-day notices by the Building Control Directorate and a Show-cause Notice […]. Islamabad Capital Territory Building Control Regulations for 2020, as enacted under the CDA Ordinance, 1960, and terms and conditions to allotment/sale agreements.
Finally, a notice was posted outside the mall stating that “The premises were sealed on account of nonconforming use by director building control-city CDA.” Eyewitness records stated that a team consisting of Islamabad The mall was surrounded by police officers and CDA officials who ordered security staff and mall employees to leave. Social media videos show that barbed wire was found outside the mall. The CDA officials had also ordered security and mall staff to leave. (ANI)