• Businessmen had blocked Islamabad’s Jinnah Avenue in protest.
  • PTI links closure of mall to AJK PM’s protest.
  • District administration unseals mall after talks with traders

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad district administration Tuesday evening unsealed a mall hours after the Capital Development Authority (CDA) had shut it down for “violating” building regulations.

The mall has been unsealed after the district administration held talks with traders, who had been protesting since the morning after the mall had been shut down.

The traders had blocked Jinnah Avenue in protest and warned that they would bring the capital to a halt if the mall was not opened.

The PTI had linked the closure of the mall to the protest launched by Azad Jammu and Kashmir Prime Minister Sardar Tanveer Ilyas, who owns the mall, during Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s speech in Mangla.

“Sealing of [mall] by PDM mafia in response to PM AJK censuring Shehbaz Sharif for not mentioning sacrifices of Kashmiris shows there is law of the jungle in Pakistan since last eight months,” claimed Khan. 

The PTI chairperson said that the move “sends negative signals to Kashmiris” and it was also a question for the judges.

PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry also slammed the move.

“AJK PM during [Prime Minister] Shehbaz Sharif’s speech stood on his seat and protested against Pakistan’s weak stance on Kashmir issue for which first his car was stopped in Mangla and today his business has been sealed,” tweeted Fawad. 

“Never before in Pakistan’s history has there been a government as fascist as this one. If AJK’s PM will be subjected to such treatment just for protesting, then what message are you conveying to occupied Kashmir and the foreign investors in the country? Such actions will only drag the already whimpering economy down,” Fawad tweeted.

In a tweet, Minister for Information and Broadcast Marriyum Aurangzeb berated the PTI chief and said that a person who had “failed” on several fronts, including governance and foreign policy, should refrain from lecturing PM on the Kashmir issue.

A day earlier, AJK PM Sardar Tanveer Ilyas had interrupted PM Shehbaz during a speech for “not mentioning the sacrifices of Kashmiri people”.

The interruption occurred during PM Shehbaz’s speech after Sharif’s inauguration of the refurbishment project of units 5 and 6 of the Mangla Dam Hydroelectric Power Plant, built on the Jhelum river in Mangla.

Fire in Islamabad shopping mall

This is the same mall where a fire had broken out in its food court in October. However, the fire was quickly brought “under control”.

In a statement, Islamabad Police said that people were rescued and safely evacuated from the backdoor of the mall — which was engulfed in smoke after the fire.

After the fire, the Islamabad Police sealed the building on the orders of the deputy commissioner.

It added that the mall’s building would remain sealed until a probe into the matter has been carried out. Until then, entry into the building would remain prohibited to the public.

The mall was later opened to the public.

Even back then, AJK prime minister’s special assistant had alleged that they fear the inferno in the popular Islamabad shopping mall was a case of “political victimisation”.

“It is feared that [federal government] is doing political victimisation in the light of the political situation,” the AJK PM’s aide said while referring to the conflict between the centre and PTI, which has government in the regional area.


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