LAHORE: A wedding event was held at the 400-year-old royal kitchen of the Lahore Fort Thursday night in violation of the provincial government’s regulations, causing a public outcry after which the Punjab government was forced to take action.
The incident first came to light after pictures from the event made their way to social media. The event caused a public outcry when it became known that a mehindi event was held at the monument.
Not only has the fort been recognised as an endangered monument by UNESCO, it is also listed as a World Heritage Site in Danger.
A tour guide who works at the Fort, told Geo.tv, on the condition of anonymity, that the kitchen was built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. “It was lying in ruins till 2014, when it was restored by the Walled City of Lahore Authority and opened to the public.” The Authority is a semi-government organization which overlooks the restoration of Lahore’s old city.
Pakistan’s Federal Antiquities Act 1975 governs the Lahore Fort and Shalimar Gardens. The Act states that the “protected immovable antiquity shall not be used for any purpose inconsistent with its character or for a purpose other than that directly related to its administration and preservation.”
Kamran Lashari, Director General of the Walled City of Lahore Authority, spoke to Geo.tv about the incident, saying that the event was not a wedding one.
He said permission had been sought by a company to host a corporate dinner at the heritage sight and it had been granted.
“Company events are allowed at this venue,” he said, stating that the royal kitchen was the venue which is segregated from the rest of the fort. “Also, the event of last night was not a wedding. I asked my people and they told me no stage was set up.”
However, pictures posted by those who attended last night’s gathering clearly show it was a mehindi event held inside the 400-year-old Mughal era kitchen.
Lahore Walled Authority announces to take legal action against company
“It was not a wedding event, it was a CORPORATE DINNER,” the Walled City of Lahore Authority said in a tweet from their official account.
“It was an event by the Fatima Fertilizer Company and the permission was taken for the corporate dinner but they held this event and legal action is being taken against them.”
Chief Secretary Punjab taking notice of the event suspended the fort’s in-charge Bilal Tahir.