KARACHI: A large number of people who booked properties in Bahria Town Karachi (BTK) staged a protest sit-in outside the company’s office on Tariq Road on Friday demanding justice and “true utilisation” of their hard-earned money.
The protest was organised by the Jamaat-i-Islami, which launched a campaign against Bahria Town and announced that it would hold a protest demonstration outside the CM House on Feb 9.
The protesters, including women and children, were holding placards and chanting slogans against the real estate giant.
They asked the federal and provincial authorities to play their due role to resolve the issues, which had put the huge investment of middle and upper-middle class at stake.
Addressing the protesters, JI’s city chief Hafiz Naeemur Rahman questioned the claims of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government that it won the election on the slogans of its anti-corruption narrative.
He said Prime Minister Imran Khan had never said a single word against Bahria Town’s malpractices and real estate tycoon Malik Riaz.
“This is an organised fraud where the allottees are not being given possession of their properties while those who have been promised refund are denied payments,” he said.
“Those who have become qualified to get possession of their plots after all payments are now being asked to pay an additional over 30 per cent amount. This is against the actual contract of the deal. But the biggest mystery is that you would not find the state and its institutions bothered. A company is behaving like a state within the state and no one dares to question it,” he said.
He said the people of this country were more worried about the fast vanishing role of the state in such times as they had nowhere to go for their grievances and anyone who designed a “smart scheme” to extort money from the citizens of this country could easily do that with strong connections.
“The people are left with no choice but to take to the streets,” he said. “Our protest is against Bahria Town for its exploitation but at the same time we are protesting against the government of Pakistan and the government of Sindh for remaining absent from the scene.
“We are here to ask Malik Riaz to resolve the issue of thousands of people. Otherwise, in the next phase we will put pressure on the authorities to take action. If the matter is not resolved, we would hold a sit-in outside the CM House on Feb 9.”
Published in Dawn, February 1st, 2020