PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Tuesday expressed displeasure over the lack of facilities at the Peshawar Zoo and ordered the authorities to provide facilities and improve the zoo environment in consultation with experts.

A two-judge bench of PHC headed by acting chief justice Qaiser Rashid Khan issued the order while hearing a writ petition filed through senior lawyer Ali Gohar Durrani. The court directed the authorities to immediately appeared before the court and explain why the animals are deprived of facilities in the Peshawar Zoo

The secretary wildlife and the director of the zoo were directed to appear in the court within one hour after the lawyer for the petitioner argued that the wildlife in the zoo are deprived of quality facilities and standard food due to which several animals have died. The petitioner told the court the animals are not been treated well by the staff at the zoo which could further harm the wildlife imported by the government from foreign countries.

“The environment of the zoo is not conducive for animals,” the lawyer further said. “Animals have died in the zoo due to the negligence of the management as they are not trained to look after the animals.”

After hearing the argument of the petitioner, the acting chief justice remarked, “We can’t let animals die like this, there should be good doctors and best facilities for animals at the zoo in Peshawar.” the judge further said that the court can order the removal of those who are not fit for the job to look after the animals. He added that the court does not want to close the zoo but wants the government to improve its condition.

The bench directed the Chief Conservator Wildlife, and Director Zoo appears before the court within an hour and explains the matter. Both the officials appeared before the court and said that the animals that died were brought to the zoo for medical treatment. He rejected that condition of the facility were unhygienic for the animals and said that they are taking all possible measure to provide best facilities to animals.

The director of the zoo also said that they are providing quality facilities to the animals in the zoo. He added that the number of animals in the zoo has increased as more animals have been brought this year.

However, the judge said that there is need for improvement. The judge said that senior lawyers will sit with the zoon officials and give you suggestions on how to improve the zoo. The judge order to seek suggestions from experts for providing a conducive environment to animals.

Charsadda graveyard case

The Acting Chief justice Qaiser Rashid Khan and Justice Arshad Ali while hearing another case relating to Charsadda graveyard remarked that it is a pity that the largest graveyard of the country has become a safe sanctuary for drug addicts. The judge questioned the performance of the Auqaf and the tehsil municipal administration for failure to take care of the historical graveyard. “There should be respect for the cemeteries, what are the Auqaf and TMAs officials are doing,” the justice said.

Earlier, the petitioner told the court the TMA is using the graveyard as a dumping site and requested the court to direct the authorities to protect the historical graveyard in Charsadda.  “We are taking steps to protect cemeteries,” the representative of Auqaf department told the court. “Funds will be allocated for Charsadda graveyard during the next years ADP on priority bases.” Justice Qaiser then questioned the official how many cemeteries have been preserved so far? “I don’t have a list at the moment but many cemeteries have been protected in the province,” the official responded.

The court adjourned the hearing of the case and sought a report from the Auqaf department regarding Charsadda graveyard. 

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