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Dispensing justice since 1919 (Photos: Arif Ali/White Star)

Completed in 1866 during the British Raj, the Lahore High Court (LHC) has been dispensing justice from its premises ever since. Given official jurisdiction over the provinces of Punjab and Delhi in 1919, it is Pakistan’s oldest superior court. The LHC has also witnessed several political milestones such as the sentencing of ZA Bhutto (1978), the Chief Justice’s Rally (2007), and was also the starting point of the 2009 Long March.

Colonial architecture amidst one of the busiest areas in Lahore ((Photos: Arif Ali/White Star)

Standing tall on The Mall… A fine example of colonial architecture, the LHC building – a combination of gothic and Islamic styles – is located along The Mall (Shahrah-e-Quaid-e-Azam) which has been Lahore’s commercial and cultural hub since the British Raj. The area around the LHC is one of Lahore’s busiest and houses government offices as well as several large national and multinational companies and commercial enterprises.

The legal profession throngs the LHC (Photos: Arif Ali/White Star)

An illustrious neighbourhood… The LHC building shares curb space with some architectural gems from the British Raj including the State Bank building, the GPO and St Andrew’s Church. The Church was built in 1899 in the neo gothic style and was meant to provide Christian railway workers with a place of worship.

Calling all bookworms… Several famous, old booksellers, which are institutions in their own right, have a presence near the LHC including Maqbool Academy and Ferozsons (which unfortunately caught fire four days ago – one can only hope the bookshop will be up and running soon). Paying tribute to the area’s cultural and literary history, a Book Street is being developed on the nearby Thornton Road.

Vintage style shopping… The retail experience is old fashioned and distinguished in a colonial sort of way. Opposite the LHC is the ICI building with many well-known stores, such as Watches of Switzerland and S Nabee Bux and Sons which have been in business for a century or more.  Panorama caters to men’s clothing and tailoring needs while Hayat Sons, a Lahore classic, has been selling heirloom furniture since 1870.

Lahori style dining… The office-going crowd at The Mall usually heads for fast food franchises such as KFC and Subway during lunch hour. However, the famed Chaman Ice-Cream also attracts its share of visitors thanks to its delicious ice-cream and fruit juices. In the evenings however, it is Bundu Khan and Salt n’ Pepper that attract Lahore’s foodies.

In a nutshell… Despite being congested, the area surrounding the LHC building continues to attract people from across Lahore thanks to its colonial landmarks, as well as its shopping and dining options.

– Maheen Hassan

First published in the Real Estate Section of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on June 3, 2012.

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