KARACHI: Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari on Monday asked the federal government to play its role for compensating those whose properties were being demolished in compliance with the apex court’s directives and warned that any move without ensuring the solution of this crisis would lead to a disastrous situation.
Referring to the verdicts of the Supreme Court regarding illegal buildings in Karachi and order of demolition of such structures, he said the PPP was founded to provide shelter and homes to people and not to bulldoze them.
He said that following the SC orders the PPP government in Sindh was left with no option, but he wanted compensation first before making people homeless.
“We build houses, we don’t bulldoze them and that’s what Shaheed Benazir Bhutto had taught us,” he said while addressing a ceremony organised at the Sindh Assembly Auditorium to celebrate the 68th birthday of slain former prime minister Benazir Bhutto. He also cut a cake on the occasion.
“But if we are forced to do that, then we expect the federal government and its institutions to come forward and play their role to ensure equal compensation for everyone. We should not deprive people of their basic rights in haste,” he said.
While showing utmost respect for the apex court, the PPP chairman shared his concerns over an impression among the people who saw alleged discrimination in the recent decisions of the superior judiciary.
“It’s not a good impression and I am concerned over that trend,” he said. “I also really feel sorry after learning the slogans Bacha lia Bahria Town, gira dia Orangi Town [Bahria Town was saved but Orangi Town was demolished] and Bacha lia Banigala, gira dia Gujjar Nullah [Banigala was saved but Gujjar Nullah was demolished].”
“This impression, which is emerging, is quite bad that Banigala must be protected at a nominal price but Gujjar Nullah should be demolished at any cost,” he said.
He said that the Sindh government would take all possible measures against those trying to disturb peace in the province. “We will not allow anyone to bring [MQM founder] Altaf Hussain’s politics back to this province,” he said.
Without naming Bahria Town, the PPP chairman warned that he would not allow violence and riots in the name of protests and anyone following this agenda was doing no good to the province and the country and suggested all relevant forces to opt for the course of peaceful protest.
Published in Dawn, June 22nd, 2021