Islamabad ka Monal band?
Anyone who has ever visited Islamabad knows that Monal is one of the biggest attractions the city has to offer. The glorious restaurant atop the mountain, that oversees all the city lights and serves arguably one of the best cuisines, is undoubtedly the favorite spot of every Islamabadi foodie. However, it seems that we are all in for a major shock.
The iconic Islamabad eatery Monal is possibly shutting down and the space is being given to the army
According to reports, the restaurant was built on military land on Margalla Hills and now the army wants the space back. Capital Development Authority member Dr. Shahid Mahmood said that the CDA did not know they were building a restaurant on army property until the military started claiming it. CDA officials announced that the space is currently being vacated and given to the army.
#ISLAMABAD: #Monal Restaurant is built on military land in the #MargallaHills that it now wants back, Capital Development Authority (#CDA) Member Planning Dr Shahid Mahmood told a parliamentary committee on Wednesday. pic.twitter.com/tS25J7JChB
— Islamabad 🇵🇰 (@Islaamabad) November 14, 2019
Of course, people of Islamabad are very unhappy
For the people of Islamabad, the restaurant has been the “it” place to go to celebrate the most of their special occasions. From 2005 till now, people have associated a lot of feelings with it and now, with the sudden news of its closure, they can’t help but feel cynical.
Translation: The military didn’t know it was their grassland till Monal earned money from it. https://t.co/pawt70LAK3
— Assad Zulfiqar Khan (@pseudorebel) November 14, 2019
— Psychopathic 👽🚫 (@Pycho_path) November 14, 2019
There are many questioning why the restaurant was allowed to be built on military land in the first place
The land Monal is built on is inside also claimed to be protected National Wildlife Park. National Assembly Climate Change committee’s chair was also interested to know how the restaurant of this scale was allowed to be built inside the national park when it is protected by the law to conserve its natural environment and wildlife.
Forget that the army wants the land that Monal Restaurant is built on – the question that should be asked is how did the CDA (which was then headed by Kamran Lashari) allow a restaurant to be built on land inside a protected national park?
— omar r quraishi (@omar_quraishi) November 14, 2019
So now all of the sudden monal is build on army land… I mean wtf? Army is the biggest land mafia in Pakistan. Someone rightly said.. 'property dealers jang nahi lartay'. I think we should take back responsibility of defence from army and tag them only for business.#Islamabad
— Noisy Neighbour (@aatifkhawaja) November 14, 2019
Why the lands have ever been allotted to the military? secondly, if the marking was not done years ago while allotting the land, how come it is now revealed that the Monal restaurant is in the center of the allotted land?
— Khalid M. Chandio (@KhalidMChandio) November 14, 2019
Some people still tried to lighten the mood
As always some Pakistanis found funny things to say on the situation, some- mostly, non-Islamabadi residents- could care less and one or two even favored the decision for the sake of environment preservation.
Time to transform Monal into a mess 🤷🏽♀️
— rameensksk (@rameensak) November 14, 2019
Forget Kashmir, we shall conquer Monal.
— Jehangir Masud (@JehangirJm) November 14, 2019
Yes, I have been asking the same. It is a protected area. Monal is spewing out its wastewater and kitchen waste without treatment into the National Park. I can't believe that the EPA allowed this to go through. Would love to see the EIA if it was even conducted.
— Imran Khalid (@imran2u) November 14, 2019
Monal owner should announce food discount offer,50% off for military personnels and also job quota for retired officers
— Saif Shah (@saifshah4444) November 14, 2019
As an Islamabadi, Monal shutting down makes me very upset
Islamabad, a city that lacks in the food department in comparison to Lahore or Karachi, truly had one restaurant that we could all proudly boast about. Monal’s food is famous city-wide and whoever visits Islamabad considers it as their must-see destination. But aside from the general importance of the restaurant, it’s the memories that many Islamabadis have attached to it, which makes it harder for us to stomach this news.
We are going to miss the chocolate lava cake that we treated ourselves with at the end of an exhausting hike on the Margalla trails. We will miss the exquisite cheese naan that you could only truly savor at the mountain top with brilliant glitterings lights twinkling below you. We will miss the perfectly good desi food and barbecue that could only be enjoyed with the beautiful weather, the spectacular view and the soul-stirring classical music, Monal had to offer.
Going up to Monal was something we all looked forward to and a place that gave birth to unforgettable moments. Whether it be with friends, family or an alone trip made just to clear your mind- it was one restaurant that was always a hit and never a miss.
It’s truly saddening to hear the rumors of it shutting down. I sincerely hope it doesn’t, really. Everyone who has ever been to Islamabad has so many Monal memories.
What are your thoughts on the matter? Let us know in the comments.
Cover Image Source: pakiholic.com