Open shopping malls across Pakistan, orders top court

07:12 PM | 18 May, 2020
Open shopping malls across Pakistan, orders top court

ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court of Pakistan (SC) on Monday ordered the reopening of shopping malls across the country. The malls were closed during the lockdown imposed to curb the coronavirus pandemic.

The five-member larger bench of the top court was hearing a suo moto case regarding measures taken against the virus outbreak.

Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Gulzar Ahmed headed the bench while Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel, Justice Sajjad Ali Shah and Justice Qazi Muhammad Amin Ahmed were also on the bench.

In its order, the court said that shopping malls and markets should remain open seven days a week. During the hearing, CJP Gulzar Ahmed remarked that if the shops are shut down then shopkeepers will ‘die of hunger rather than the coronavirus’.

The court remarked that in Karachi, except for five big malls every market has resumed operations. On this, Commissioner Karachi Iftikhar Shallwani said that a few markets were sealed for not following the Standard Operating Procedures laid out by the government.

The CJP noted that the SOPs will be ‘better implemented’ at the big shopping malls. The apex court also ordered that on the weekends, all the small markets should remain open to the public.