Islamabad [Pakistan], December 8 (ANI): Pakistani authorities in Islamabad sealed Jinnah Avenue and the Centaurus Mall after the verbal altercation between Prime minister Shehbaz Sharif and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) leader Sardar Tanveer Ilyas.
In a brief video clip that went viral on social media, Sharif, while he was about to conclude his speech, was seen gesturing and asking Ilyas to retire to his seat. According to a witness, after wrapping up his speech, Sharif hurriedly left the venue without heeding to Ilyas, who tried his best to get the prime minister's attention, Pakistan Today reported.
The Dawn traders and PTI leaders claimed that the mall was sealed overnight in an act of "political revenge", The Dawn reported.
However, a notice pasted outside the mall stated: "The premises have been sealed on account of non-conforming use by order of director building control-city, CDA (Capital Development Authority)."
Videos circulating on social media showed barbed wires placed outside the mall, with a police mobile unit parked nearby.
Following the closure of the mall president, the All Pakistan Anjuman-i-Tajiran (APAT) union of businessmen Ajmal Baloch led a protest against the matter. He said that "the sealing of the mall is an act of revenge."
He further said that putting an effect on the livelihoods of the people just for political revenge is not at all right sealing of the mall was clear evidence of the "act of revenge".
He vowed they would not let the traders' community become a "victim of political revenge" at any cost. "The trader community of Islamabad is standing with the traders of Centaurus Mall," he said according to Pakistan Today.
He also added that the lives and livelihoods of traders related to the mall will get affected and leave many people jobless, hence he demanded that the issues be resolved immediately, according to Pakistan Today.
Before the closure, the Capital Development Authority (CDA) had served six notices to the mall between 2014 and 2022. These six notices started on March 7, 2014, and the final notice was served on November 23, 2022, no response was received warning against the suspected "non-conforming use of the building".
An order served on December 02, 2022, had ordered to shut down the mall for failure to "remove building violations". According to Pakistan Today the notice read "Consequent upon the persistent non-compliance to remove building violations conveyed vide numerous 15 days notices served by Building Control Directorate [...] and a show-cause notice [...] the sealing order of the subject premises/property is hereby issued, in accordance with 'Islamabad Capital Territory Building Control Regulations, 2020 framed thereunder CDA Ordinance, 1960 and terms and conditions of allotment/sale agreement."
And ultimately a notice pasted outside the mall read: "The premises have been sealed on account of non-conforming use by order of director building control-city, CDA.". Eyewitness records said that a team of Islamabad police and CDA officials had reached the mall premises and ordered the security and mall staff to leave. Videos that are surfacing in social media regarding the matter show that barbed are placed outside the mall with police cars parked nearby.
Although, later the mall was unsealed district administration on Tuesday evening unsealed the Centaurus Mall after a protest led by the trade union since the morning as the traders had blocked Jinnah Avenue and they had warned they will lead the capital to a halt if the mall was not opened Geo News reported. (ANI)