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January 11, 2020

Marriage takes place at Lahore Fort


January 11, 2020

LAHORE:A serious scam of allowing weddings in the name of corporate events at the prestigious Lahore Fort by Walled City of Lahore Authority (WCLA) has surfaced here Friday after which the authority cancelled one of a planned “corporate event” at Barood Khana inside Lahore Fort.

Sources inside the authority claimed that the higher management has made the manager of Lahore Fort as a scapegoat and put entire blame of Thursday’s event on him whereas several senior officials of WCLA are equally responsible for minting huge money from this illegal business.

As per details, the news of a marriage inside Lahore Fort’s Sheesh Mahal went viral on social media and some of the participants in the marriage uploaded footages taking pride for being the guests at such a marriage ceremony, which held in one of the world heritage sites, which a common citizen of Pakistan even can’t imagine of doing so.

Following the news, WCLA first completely denied happening of the event. A message released by WCLA’s PR wing said that “The news about the wedding function held at Sheesh Mahal is incorrect and baseless. No such function was held at Sheesh Mahal as WCLA does not allow any such activity in Sheesh Mahal.” It added that a cultural event was held at the Royal Kitchens (previously a no-go area) which is a separate space from the Lahore Fort and is being used for cultural events after it was conserved by the WCLA. The place is given on rent for events as per rules and SOPs laid down by WCLA and no violation of the rules has been made.

Later, the authority changed its version by saying that the company which booked the Royal Kitchen for a corporate event deceived the authority and held a marriage ceremony in the name of corporate event. The version seemed to be a cover up of the situation as the setting of corporate event and a marriage ceremony were completely different.

Inside sources said that on Friday, Barood Khana’s place was also decorated with a marquee, which has a bride and groom sitting stage, a dancing glass floor, floral decorations, DJ setup and other marriage ceremony related settings but following the leakage of Thursday’s event the authorities quickly removed the setup. Officially they responded that the event was ended following the news of marriage ceremony at Sheesh Mahal.

Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar and Chief Secretary Punjab took strong notice of the news of marriage ceremonies being held at Lahore Fort. Incharge Lahore Fort Bilal Tahir was suspended and an inquiry into the incident was started.

Sources inside the WCLA said that the Punjab government should start an in-depth inquiry to ascertain the fact that how many marriages were being held in past in the name of corporate events not only in Lahore Fort but at all the heritage sites under the control of WCLA, which included Hazuri Bagh, Shahi Hamam and Lahore Fort.

They said that a complete ban on holding corporate events inside any of the heritage sites should be announced immediately so that the corrupt mafia should not play with the relaxations. Sources revealed that a number of unofficial commercial and marriage photo shoots are also being held in the Lahore Fort and other heritage sites whereas common citizens were not allowed to take pictures with their DSLR cameras by the security.

WCLA officials said that a request to register FIR against the private company, which booked the venue for corporate event, was also forwarded to the police. They said that the security deposit of Rs10 Lakh deposited by the company was also forfeited.

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