The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Wednesday suggested an advertisement campaign on media for recovery of nalain-e-pak, the shoes attributed to Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) which were reported stolen from Lahore's Badshahi Mosque in 2002.
During a hearing of the case related to the theft, a three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar vowed to not let go of the matter and ordered the authorities to continue efforts for the recovery of the nalain-e-pak.
“This is such a rare and priceless [thing], we will not leave the matter until it's found," Justice Nisar remarked, adding that the "petitioner has been walking barefoot ever since the theft took place."
The bench was told by a representative of the Punjab police that the nalain-e-pak were stolen as they were being brought back from Brunei on July 31, 2002, in between Maghrib and Isha.
“We took measurements of the nalain-e-pak, obtained fingerprints at the time of the theft,” the police representative informed the court.
“We even once received news from Karachi that they had been spotted and went there."
A video clip of the nalain-e-pak was then played in the courtroom.
Justice Ijaz-ul-Ahsan remarked that the nalain-e-pak have great importance and such sacred items are often kept in museums.
The police replied that Turkey's Topkapi Palace Museum and a museum in England were also checked for them.
Chief Justice Nisar then asked if any advertisements had been run on television or newspapers regarding the theft.
To this, the Punjab police representative replied, “We have kept a reward of Rs1.5 million for anyone who provides us with any information.”
The top judge then observed that it was the religious duty of the electronic and print media to run ads to help find the nalain-e-pak.
“We know the police is working in the right direction.
Such sacred relics should be taken care of by the Punjab government.”
The apex court then ordered the police to submit a report every three months and asked the Punjab government to ensure safety of sacred objects.
“Objects such as these should be kept in glass boxes and any assistance regarding this would be provided by the court,” the bench said.