The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has ordered the demolition of the Pakistan Navy’s sailing club along Rawal Lake in Islamabad, ruling that the Navy does not have the authority to undertake real estate ventures.
The IHC ordered the club to be razed within the next three weeks and sanctioned ‘criminal’ and “misconduct’ proceedings action against former naval chief Admiral (retd) Zafar Mahmood Abbasi for the construction of the ‘illegal’ sailing club.
The court also deemed the naval officer’s inauguration of the club as unconstitutional.
Headed by Chief Justice Athar Minallah, the IHC said that the Capital Development Authority (CDA) did not have the authority to issue a no-objection certificate (NOC) to the Pakistan Navy.
The sailing club had been built on National Park land, according to the court.
“If you receive a request for the issuance of an NOC either to an illegal housing society or a naval sailing club, you should throw away the petition right at the outset,” Justice Minallah admonished the CDA.
“The sailing club is illegal, and therefore, it should be demolished in three weeks,” the IHC judge said.
The original petition was filed by a citizen, Zeenat Saleem, who claimed that the club prohibited public access to the lake and was an ‘illegal occupation’ built without the proper approvals.
The sailing club has been sealed since July 2020.