LAHORE: Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has dispelled reports about alleged plans to demolish Lahore’s famous historical monument Chauburji.
Many believed the heritage site would be affected while making way for Orange Line Metro. “I am seeing a lot of rumours circulating about the proposed demolition of some historical places for Orange Line Metro Train. I would officially like to declare such rumours as baseless and part of a propaganda,” said the chief minister in a Facebook post on Monday. Shahbaz said it was Punjab’s government “principled decision” that no site of historic and cultural heritage significance – including Chauburji, GPO and Saint Andrews Church – would be harmed. “I have personally presided over a number of meetings to ensure all such landmarks are protected and preserved in their actual condition as they define the culture and heritage of Lahore,” he added. The 27-kilometre track of Lahore Orange Line Metro Train is estimated to cost $1.65 billion, which according to the Punjab chief minister will revolutionise the transport culture in Pakistan. On October 29, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) in a session in Lahore took up the cases of several heritage sites which were at risk, including Chauburji, Shalamar Gardens and the General Post Office (GPO), along the route of the Orange Line Metro Train.
Without naming anyone, the Punjab chief minister also alleged that leader of a political party was behind spreading the misinformation. “I believe that national leaders must confirm facts before spreading a word because they influence and shape public opinion. We all must act responsibly as honourable citizens of Pakistan,” he said.