Requesting the Chief Minister of the Punjab
Reclaim the Birdwood Barracks Property
Sardar Dost Muhammad Khosa
Chief Minister of the Punjab
Chief Minister’s Secretariat
We, the undersigned residents of Lahore, would like to draw your attention to the proposed auction of the Birdwood Barracks property located on Waris Road.
The Ministry of Defence has placed this property on auction to be used for commercial purposes (a copy of the Invitation for Expressions of Interest for the property is attached).
Your Excellency, the property upon which this Barracks stands belongs to the Government of the Punjab and the people of Lahore. Since before Partition, this property has been in the use of the military. At the time, it was given so that the armed forces could carry out their public purpose of defence. By putting this 22 acres of open land on auction, and that too for commercial purposes, the Ministry of Defence has made it clear that our armed forced no longer needs or requires it for any further military use or defence purpose. It stands to reason, therefore, that this property – regardless of its monetary worth or development potential – must now revert to its original owners: the Province and people of Punjab.
The great city of Lahore has grown exponentially in the recent past, but this development has not been for the benefit of the common man. On the other hand, public open spaces – the very lungs of our city and the recreational space of millions – are constantly sacrificed in the name of progress. The fact that the 22 spacious acres of the Birdwood Barracks property is available to the Government is a unique opportunity to redefine Lahore’s urban experience and frame your Government’s policy and strategy towards the challenges posed by our urban development.
We humbly request you to exercise your Constitutional power and advise the Governor of Punjab to make a formal application requesting the Government of Pakistan to return the Birdwood Barracks property to its rightful owners. We would also request you to take this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and declare that this property will be used for no other purpose save public recreation, and that it is open to all.
Lahore, once the city of gardens, now has precious few left. Your actions may result in the gift to this city of its last great park and garden. History will keep record of your decision.