KARACHI: Taking notice of the protest of indigenous people of Malir, who are being displaced from their ancestral homes allegedly by Bahria Town for its expansion, Pakistan Peoples Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari said on Friday that he had ordered the Sindh chief minister to submit a report to him and until then all work should be stopped.

At a press conference, reporters informed Mr Bhutto-Zardari about the people’s protests in Malir and asked whether the PPP was a facilitator of Bahria Town or would it take any step to end the injustices being meted out to Sindhi and Baloch people who had traditionally been his party’s voters since long.

Says all work on project till submission of report should be stopped

Without naming Bahria Town even once, Mr Bhutto-Zardari replied that he was busy in Thursday’s by-election in NA-249, but was aware of a lot of complaints of injustices on social media. “I have asked the chief minister to furnish a report and till then all work should be stopped.”

Accompanied by senior PPP leader Sherry Rehman, Sindh CM Murad Ali Shah and others, the PPP chairman said he did not want any injustice done to anyone. He said action would be taken against those who supported the injustice with the people of villages in Malir.

In a reference to the Supreme Court judgement through which it accepted a Bahria Town offer to deposit Rs460 billion for the purchase of the land measuring 16,896 acres in the Malir Development Authority (MDA) for its Karachi project, the PPP chief lamented that not a single rupee of this amount was spent on the people of Malir.

In a veiled reference to Bahria Town, Mr Bhutto-Zardari said that the Supreme Court’s order for “boundary wall” was in front of everyone and he did not intend to commit contempt of court.

“But we can ask where is the money for compensation to locals,” he said, adding that affected people should get their rights and money according to the SC decision.

Earlier, Grand Democratic Alliance leader Ayaz Latif Palijo gave a province-wide protest call for Saturday (today) against demolition of Karachi villages by “Bahria and government” and injuring hundreds of people, including women.

Published in Dawn, May 1st, 2021

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