The Capital Development Authority (CDA) has sealed the Sir Syed Memorial Complex in the G-5/1 sector of Islamabad. This decision was made after the CDA refused to extend the lease period.
A letter with subject “Retraction of Plot No 19 estimating 11666 square Yard Allocated to Sir Syed Memorial in Sector G-5/1 Islamabad” notes that the rental arrangement lapsed on 26 September 2021.
This site is the main memorial that commemorates Sir Syed Ahmed Khan in Pakistan today. The land was given to the Sir Syed Memorial Society in 1988 on a long-term lease, to construct a Public library, a reading room, a museum and an auditorium for for the public and to honour the 19th-century leader and reformer. The memorial was made possible private gifts and public contributions. The Islamabad Museum showcasing antiquities worth billions of rupees was set up in the Memorial Building in 2002.
The President of the Sir Syed Memorial Society, Syed Ahmed Masood, speaking to TFT-NayaDaur said that the CDA has taken this action without earlier notification and without giving any justification for the abrogation. He added that the Society had composed six letters to the CDA between 2018 and September 2021, mentioning an augmentation of the rental arrangements, without any response from the CDA.
Masood further said that after the notification that the CDA was not extending the lease, the Sir Syed Memorial Society documented an appeal as per Section 20 of the Islamabad Land Disposal Regulations 2005, which permits the allottee one year to address any such issues. “To the best of the Society’s information, no such gathering of the CDA Board has occurred since the Society’s offer was held up a week ago,” he said.
Memorial staff member Nasir Mahmood affirmed that the CDA sealed the premises despite a writ petition and two Civil Miscellaneous Applications having been documented by the Society’s legal counselors in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) with a consultation planned for the 8th of November 2021.