By Ali Imran
ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday sought a reply from the federal government over the closure of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) owned Roosevelt Hotel in New York. The plea against the closure of PIA’s iconic hotel was heard by Justice Aamir Farooq.
At the beginning of the hearing, the counsel of the complainant, Advocate Tariq Asad stated that the government has planned to transform hotel into apartments and offices.”Roosevelt Hotel has its traditional importance and the transformation will cost more to the government.”
He further stated that US President Donald Trump has also shown his interest in buying the hotel. Justice Aamir Farooq directed the assistant attorney general of Pakistan to inform the court about the policy of the federal government on the Roosevelt Hotel after consultation.
Later, the hearing was adjourned for a week. Last month, Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan had refuted reports circulating in certain quarters regarding the sale of PIA’s Roosevelt Hotel in New York.
The Roosevelt Hotel, established in 1924, is among the historic hotels in the United States and is situated in the luxurious downtown area of Manhattan.
The Roosevelt Hotel, a Pakistani possession in the heart of Manhattan, announced on Thursday it would shut its doors on guests permanently on Oct 31. The hotel remains closed from October 1, “Due to the current economic impacts, after almost 100 years of welcoming guests to The Grand Dame of New York, The Roosevelt Hotel, is regretfully closing its doors permanently as of Oct 31, 2020,” the announcement said.
In July 2020, the Cabinet Committee on Privatisation (CCoP) decided against privatizing the hotel and to run it through a joint venture instead. A meeting of the committee was chaired by Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh to review the one-point agenda the privatisation.