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Director For Marketing, Tourism And Culture Removed By Walled City Of Lahore Authority

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The Walled City of Lahore Authority (WCLA) has removed its director for marketing, tourism and culture, Mr. Asif Zaheer, for his alleged negligence in protecting the Royal Kitchen Courtyard near the Lahore Fort, which is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

There had been widespread public outrage in Pakistan after news emerged that a function which was permitted on the premises of the Fort, in the Royal Kitchen Courtyard area, was actually a private wedding event. The officials concerned had been told it was a corporate dinner, but they failed to monitor it. According to reports, this event was actually a Mehndi celebration organized in gross violation of rules and regulations that govern the use of the space.

Earlier, Bilal Tahir, in charge of the Fort premises, had also been removed from his position by the WCLA.

The Director General of the WCLA, Kamran Lashari, has noted that segments of the media misreported the violation. There had been inaccurate reports that the event had been held in the famed Sheesh Mahal area of the Lahore Fort. In fact, the event had taken place in the Royal Kitchen Courtyard, which is technically not considered part of the Fort site. Lashari also emphasized the central role of the WCLA in reclaiming and restoring the site of the Kitchen Courtyard.

Mr. Asif Zaheer, removed from the WCLA, is to return to his original department, the Parks and Horticulture Authority (PHA).

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