ISLAMABAD: After surrendering at the I-11 katchi abadi, which was demolished by the Capital Development Authority (CDA) last month, slum dwellers have been reorganising themselves to resist against possible operations against other slum areas in the capital.
On Tuesday, a large number of katchi abadi residents gathered outside the National Press Club and protested against CDA plans for more operations against slums.
They also called on the Supreme Court of Pakistan to take notice of the forced eviction of slum dwellers and urged the judiciary to ensure the right of shelter for those who lived in these settlements.
CDA demolished the I-11 katchi abadi on July 31 on the orders of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) and is now said to be planning the demolition of 34 more slums in the federal capital.
AWP claims 34 more katchi abadis across capital slated for demolition
Hundreds of katchi abadi dwellers, including both Muslims and Christians, gathered under the aegis of the World Minorities Alliance and the All Pakistan Alliance for Katchi Abadis, on Tuesday.
Residents of katchi abadis from H-9, G-7, G-8, I-9, I-10 and G-6/2 also held a rally and marched from H-9 to the press club, along with activists from the Awami Workers Party (AWP), in the searing heat.
Vowing to continue their peaceful struggle against forced evictions in Islamabad, the demonstrators stressed that the basic housing needs of the city’s working classes had been given no consideration by the city’s planners and administrators, and asked that the CDA must make a proper plan for the slums residents’ relocation and resettlement before they can consent to vacating the land they currently occupy.
Addressing the participants of the rally, AWP representative Alia Amirali said: “We will not stop our struggle; despite the fear of terrorism charges and threats of dire consequences.”
According to an AWP statement, CDA and police personnel have made announcements in various slums in I-9, I-10, H-11, H-9 and G-8 and asked residents to vacate the premises immediately, without any mention of relocation, resettlement or offer of negotiation to consult with the slum dwellers about the timing and the modalities of their relocation.
Published in Dawn, August 26th, 2015
On a mobile phone? Get the Dawn Mobile App: Apple Store | Google Play