Following the deaths of a lion and a lioness at the Marghazar Zoo, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) Monday decided to launch contempt of court proceedings against Minister of State for Climate Change Zartaj Gul and Adviser to the Prime Minister on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam. As the court decides to launch contempt of court proceedings against Zartaj Gul, PTI’s leadership seems to be worried.
The IHC has summoned names of all persons responsible for the deaths of the animals and ordered the climate change secretary and the Islamabad Wildlife Management Board (IWMB) chairman to appear before it on Tuesday.
IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah said in his remarks that how will those public representatives take care of people who cannot protect animals. The counsel told Justice Athar Minallah that the lion and lioness were being shifted to Lahore and services of professionals were acquired in this regard.
The IHC chief justice said, “The court had determined the responsible persons if any harm is done to any animal. The federal government submitted a notification after forming a board to shift the animals. “Climate change minister, secretary, SAPM on climate change and parliamentary secretary were all part of the board but no one is willing to take the responsibility now,” he added.
The deputy attorney general told the court that a representative of the climate change ministry is conducting the inquiry, to which Justice Athar Minallah remarked that will he conduct an inquiry against his own ministry. Do you think the court decision is a joke, the IHC chief justice asked.
It is pertinent here to mention that the lioness died at Islamabad’s Marghazar Zoo upon arrival at a lion breeding sanctuary. The lion also died afterward.
“Case to be heard after Eid”
A single bench of IHC comprising Chief Justice of IHC Justice Athar Minallah announced to conduct hearing of the petition after Eid.
On the previous hearing, the IHC Chief Justice had expressed his annoyance over the Ministry of Climate Change for politicking over animals, especially those in the federal capital’s Marghazar Zoo. He remarked during a hearing over delays in the transfer of bears from Islamabad’s Marghazar Zoo that our heads should hang in shame The bench also expressed its anger over lack of protection given to the bears, as well as the issue of their transfer elsewhere.
The IHC bench observed that at least 40 giraffes were brought to the zoo from abroad and all of them are dead. He remarked that the Ministry of Climate Change is responsible for such treatment of animals.
It added that in this entire case, it only engaged in politicking. The ministry is only interested in making statements and engaging in politics. It is responsible for harming God’s creatures.
The court was also informed that two bears at the Islamabad zoo still have not been shifted to Balkasar Bear Sanctuary due to health concerns. The sanctuary authorities said that the temperature at the sanctuary is not suitable for the two bears. A German vet is currently treating them.
The administrator of the Balkasar Sanctuary, Dr Fakhar, also appeared during the court hearing and said that the bears were safer in Islamabad than the shelter in Punjab’s Chakwal city.
Many activists have expressed rejoice after the court had ordered the transfer of animals from Marghazar Zoo to suitable sanctuaries on May 22. The verdict was announced on three combined petitions seeking relocation of two brown bears, treatment of Kaavan, and stopping the shooting of stray dogs.