KARACHI: A number of rallies were held in several cities of Sindh, including Karachi, on Tuesday to protest against the alleged harassment of Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF) officials at the hands of armed men of Shoukat Ali Malkani, brother of provincial minister for livestock and fisheries Mohammad Ali Malkani.

The protesters in Sujawal, Thatta, Sanghar, Badin, Hyderabad, Jamshoro and outside the Karachi Press Club said that PFF chairman Mohammad Ali Shah, District Sujawal president Noor Mohammad Theamore and four other colleagues were held hostage and beaten up by the armed men of Shoukat Ali Malkani.

The incident took place in Shah Bunder taluka, Ladiyoun union council, Sujawal district. The protesters, including hundreds of fishing and peasant community members and several political and civil society activists, carrying banners and placards, chanted slogans against the victimisation of the PFF leaders. PFF chairman Mohammad Ali Shah, Sujawal district president Noor Muhammad Theamore, central information secretary Gulab Shah, and Karachi division general secretary Talib were also among them.

They demanded the immediate arrest of Shoukat Ali Malkani and an end to the illegal occupation of lakes by his people in the form of immediate legal action against this human rights violation.

Speaking at the rally in Karachi, PFF chairman Mohammad Ali Shah said that harassment and violence could not suppress their voices. “The influential feudal, brother of the provincial minister for fisheries, has illegally occupied the historical lake Babli through force and with the help of his armed men,” he said.

“The illegal occupation of indigenous lakes in Sindh by these feudal lords still continues despite the Sindh High Court’s notification for ending illegal occupation of all water bodies of Sindh,” he said.

“These feudal lords are snatching away the bread and butter of the underprivileged fishing community,” he said, adding that such illegal occupations should be ended.

He asked the Sindh chief minister, Sindh police chief, Rangers DG to remove Mohammad Ali Malkani as livestock and fisheries minister and arrest his brother Shoukat or else the CM House would be surrounded by protesters, he warned.

Published in Dawn, December 27th, 2017

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