ISLAMABAD: The slum dwellers of Sector I-11 on Thursday held a protest gathering against the recent remarks of Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Khan to remove katchi abadis from Islamabad.

The public meeting was organised by the local chapter of the All Pakistan Alliance for Katchi Abadis and the Awami Workers Party (AWP) Islamabad.

Speakers on the occasion said katchi abadi dwellers were not terrorists but peaceful citizens of Pakistan and had the basic right to housing enshrined in the Constitution. The protesters vowed to peacefully fight for their rights by participating in the upcoming local government elections.

Fazal Shah, the AWP candidate for the post of UC chairman, regretted that the katchi abadi residents were being termed a security threat to Islamabad. He said the poor were now aware of their rights and would not tolerate being pushed around by the rulers. Noor Mohammad, the president of the AWP I-11 Katchi Abadi unit, said the slum dwellers were used as pawns by all the mainstream parties during elections. But the political parties start making plans to evict the dwellers as soon as they come to power, he added. — A Reporter

Published in Dawn, June 12th, 2015

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