By Iram Salim
Although the Supreme Court has handed over the control of state of art Royal Palm Country Club to the Pakistan Railways but one wonders where are the basic rights of the man who had built this with his own sweat and blood.
Ramzan Sheikh must be thinking and rather in a state of bewilderment that how come he be deprived of the club he built and developed in 18 years with utmost handwork and extreme dedication to this country.
No doubt the lease agreement with PR and Sheikh’s company could be questionable but this issue could have been settled with fine.
Mr Sheikh will file a review petition with the SC hoping to get relief and get back his club whom he had given his soul.
In an open letter Mr Ramzan Sheikh said: “On 28th June 2019, Supreme Court of Pakistan has announced their decision about Royal Palm Golf and country club, formerly Pakistan Railways Golf club. It’s been over 8 years that this matter was pending in SCP and over 18 years that I put together a team to build a world class golf course from scratch. I was fortunate then to get a great team , a conducive environment and could set a trend that such clubs could be developed in private sector.
In form of Royal Palm, Pakistan has witnessed a state of the art facility which perhaps was a little ahead of its time and our culture for a public-private partnership was not mature enough to understand the dynamics. Although Pakistan Railways was paid over 55 crores during this period whereas earlier there was virtually zero income and Government used to subsidise the old club to run it.”
Mr Sheikh further said: ” I may have some apprehensions the way this case has been presented in SCP as Pakistan Railways who were once a beneficiary turned into an enemy of the project.. Nevertheless I feel I did my best despite a lot of odds..Without commenting on what SCP decided however they have not found any fault of the developers. An order has been passed instructing Government to re-bid the project. My investments will be be examined and if the court feels will be compensated in due course of time. Without knowing what the future holds for us I feel that I was so fortunate to have found so much support, love and recognition from friends and members which is my priceless possession. My team and I tried our best to protect interests of all stakeholders and do hope that this club flourishes and remain an Icon for the city of Lahore.”
Ramzan Sheikh further said:
“I sincerely hope that tomorrow brings the best for this club and our country , I remain indebted to it and seek your prayers and affection as I will keep my journey to build a better World then I found it.” PAK DESTINY