LAHORE: Describing the reported move to destroy a part of the GPO building in Lahore for the Orange Train project as vandalism compounded by arrogance, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has called upon the Punjab government to review the project and desist from attacking the people’s basic right to preservation of their heritage.
In a statement issued here today, the commission said: “All human rights activists and defenders of the people’s rights must have been appalled at learning of new plans to destroy heritage property in Lahore. It has been reported that a part of the Lahore’s GPO building has been marked for demolition so as to provide space for the Orange Train project. Earlier the Punjab University teachers had raised their voice against the threat to their property posed by the same project. It seems the provincial government has decided to persist in its programme to destroy the character of Lahore city after it won a questionable carte blanche from the judiciary.”
“Every student of history and culture knows that the GPO (Lahore) building and some of the property targeted in Patiala Ground form part of people’s heritage and the GPO is also a building protected under the law. The government must not forget that preservation of culture and heritage is one of the people’s fundamental human rights and no government can be allowed to trifle with it. What is being done to Lahore amounts to vandalism compounded by arrogance.”
“HRCP calls upon the Punjab government to review the Orange Train project and other projects that could damage or destroy historical premises and spaces and make a categorical and irreversible commitment to ensuring due protection to and conservation of the heritage.” NNI