KARACHI: Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) Karachi chief Engr Hafiz Naeemur Rahman on Monday visited Nasla Tower to express solidarity with the affected people and appealed to the Supreme Court of Pakistan to revisit its judgment for demolition of the tower.
Meanwhile, affectees of the project have set up a protest camp to air their demands.
The JI leader while addressing a press conference said that the party in principle condemns encroachments but also demands justice in letter and spirit.
A few days ago, the apex court ordered the demolition of Nasla Tower for encroaching on the land meant for a service road. The detailed order in this regard was issued on Saturday.
Affectees set up protest camp
He further said that unilateral punishment to the residents of the tower is unacceptable. The affected people of the judgment are not responsible for the encroachment, he said, while elaborating that all the authorities and departments concerned had regularized the tower.
Engr Naeem said that the responsibility for encroachment should be placed on the authorities that were in power when the building was constructed, not on the innocent people residing in the complex. He further said that the people residing in the tower have been paying all taxes and liabilities.
The punishment should be granted to the actual culprits, he said and raised a question about the fate of the then provincial inspector general of police, land authorities and other key officers.
He added that the JI’s petition against K-Electric has been pending before the apex court for the last five years but to no avail.
He said that encroachments are done in other parts of the country as well but the judiciary made some other decisions in that regard. Highlighting Prime Minister Imran Khan’s personal residence in Banigala (Islamabad), he said that the area was regularized by court orders and against a token money of Rs1.2 million.
The JI leader also shed light on the humanitarian angle of the issue. He said has any authority ever asked the people living on the banks of nullahs or drains or on other lands why they choose to live in such a miserable condition, or if anyone has ever asked them about the officials who let them live there.
He reiterated his appeal and asked the judiciary to ensure alternative residence for the affected people before demolition of Nasla Tower. He further said that the JI wants encroachments in Karachi to be removed, parks and other public land be freed but justice should not be neglected during the process.
Regarding the protest, residents of the building set up a camp on main Sharea Faisal, which was being supported by the Association of Builders and Developers (ABAD), against the demolition of Nasla Tower.
Published in Dawn, July 23rd, 2021