General

SC Orders To Remove Siddiq ul Farooq As Head of ETPB

The Supreme Court of Pakistan ordered on Wednesday the removal of Siddiqul Farooq as the head of the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB).
Hearing the Katas Raj suo motu case, a three-member bench had summoned Farooq today over his controversial appointment and role in the ETPB, which looks after affairs of minorities’ religious places in the country.
The court, during several earlier hearings of the case, had berated the ETPB chief over his negligence and appointment on nepotism.
Appearing in court today, Farooq said he worked at the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz office, where the chief justice would also visit sometimes.
The chief justice then ordered the federal government to remove him from the post and appoint an apolitical person.
Earlier on Tuesday, the Supreme Court of Pakistan imposed a fine of Rs100,000 on Punjab government and issued a notice to Chairman Evacuee Trust Board Property (ETPB) Siddique ul Farooq in the Katas Raj case.
The chief justice remarked that if the water of the pond adjacent to Katas Raj temple is depleting because of the cement factories located close to it, then the factories should make other arrangements to get water.The historic pond, a revered site for Hindus, is said to have depleted due to the operations of cement factories nearby which have sucked out the underground water.
Chief Justice Nisar stated that Katas Raj’s temple and pond should be restored to its original state. He observed that China Pakistan Economic Corridor is an important developmental project for Pakistan, adding that the court wants the resolution of all disputes related to it.
In its previous hearing, the Supreme Court came down hard on the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB), which looks after affairs of minorities’ properties in the country, and its chairman, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s Siddiqul Farooq.During the hearing, the chief justice summoned from the ETPB details of the properties operated by it and the funds generated from them.
The chief justice warned that if the details are not presented at the next hearing, ETPB Chairman Siddiqul Farooq should leave his post.“Where institutions will not do anything, we will,” he remarked, adding that in such cases there should be no complaints of the court exceeding its jurisdiction.
“Farooq’s credentials for the appointment are his 30 years of political service,” observed the chief justice, adding that someone who collected newspapers in the party office was appointed to such an important post.It is worth mentioning here that CJP had taken a suo moto notice of drying up of a pond in Katas Raj Temples owing to cement factories in Chakwal on November 2.
The water body is referred to by the Hindus as the ‘The Lake of Tears’ owing to a legend about one of the Hindu gods.