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Why is Islamabad's scenic Monal Restaurant on Margalla Hills closing?

07:59 PM | 11 Jun, 2024
Why is Islamabad's scenic Monal Restaurant on Margalla Hills closing?
Source: File photo

The owners of Islamabad's scenic Monal Restaurant submitted in the Supreme Court of Pakistan that they will voluntarily relocate their restaurant to another place within three months. 

Earlier, the Supreme Court ordered closure of all eateries in the Margalla Hills National Park (MHNP), including Monal Restaurant in Islamabad.

These directives followed a March 11 court order seeking comprehensive records of the restaurant's land ownership.

A three-member bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa, heard petitions from Monal Restaurant and the Wildlife Department.

Previously, on March 8, the Supreme Court had ordered the de-sealing of the eatery, suspending an Islamabad High Court (IHC) verdict. The court instructed the Capital Development Authority (CDA) to provide original records for the 8,600 acres of MHNP land.

The additional attorney general informed the court that the Military Estate Office claimed the land as military-owned. However, Chief Justice Isa asserted that there is no military-owned land; it belongs to the government of Pakistan. He questioned whether the land was owned by the CDA or another entity.

During the hearing, the Supreme Court summoned the CDA chairman immediately, rejecting the regulator's submitted report. CJP Isa emphasized that the court had requested details of Monal and other restaurants from the CDA.

A CDA lawyer responded that they had provided a report containing all construction details in Margalla Hills National Park. CJP Isa noted that the report included a sports club, Pak-China Friendship Centre, and Arts Council National Monument, questioning the CDA's honesty. He inquired whether the SC building also fell under the national park's jurisdiction, to which the lawyer said he would need to check the map.

CJP Isa remarked that everyone except the CDA seems to know how many restaurants exist besides Monal, and he questioned if the CDA's office was also in the National Park. When asked about the frequency of fires in the Margalla Hills, the CDA chairman reported 21 incidents this season.

The Supreme Court then directed all other restaurants in the National Park, including Monal, to relocate within three months. The court stated that its primary aim is to protect the National Park and terminated unnecessary notices issued to other restaurants outside the park.

All leases granted to restaurants in the National Park were declared null and void. CJP Isa also ordered a halt to all commercial activities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's National Park.

The Supreme Court indicated that a written order regarding the Monal restaurant case would be issued later.
 

Daily Pakistan Global Web Desk

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Currency Rates in Pakistan - Pakistani Rupee to US Dollar, Euro, Dirham, Riyal 13 June 2024

Pakistani currency rates against US Dollar and other currencies on June 13, 2024 (Thursday) in open market.

USD to PKR Rate Today

US dollar was being quoted at 277.6 for buying and 280.65 for selling.

Euro's buying rate stands at 296 and selling rate is 299 while British Pound rate is 350.5 for buying, and 353 for selling.

UAE Dirham AED was at 75 and Saudi Riyal at 75.9.

Source: Forex Association of Pakistan. (last update 08:00 AM)
Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar USD 277.6 280.65
Euro EUR 296 299
UK Pound Sterling GBP 350.5 353
U.A.E Dirham AED 75 75.9
Saudi Riyal SAR 73.1 73.85
Australian Dollar AUD 182 184
Bahrain Dinar BHD 740.88 748.88
Canadian Dollar CAD 204 206
China Yuan CNY 38.38 38.78
Danish Krone DKK 40.14 40.54
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 35.66 36.01
Indian Rupee INR 3.33 3.44
Japanese Yen JPY 1.91 1.99
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 908.19 917.19
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 59.3 59.9
New Zealand Dollar NZD 170.79 172.79
Norwegians Krone NOK 25.97 26.27
Omani Riyal OMR 723.52 731.52
Qatari Riyal QAR 76.42 77.12
Singapore Dollar SGD 203.5 205.5
Swedish Korona SEK 26.4 26.7
Swiss Franc CHF 309.94 312.44
Thai Bhat THB 7.56 7.71

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