Parties warn PPP govt of protest if demolition of Mujahid Colony houses not stopped

An excavator demolishes a house to clear way for a 150-foot-wide road in Mujahid Colony. — PPI/File
An excavator demolishes a house to clear way for a 150-foot-wide road in Mujahid Colony. — PPI/File

KARACHI: Many political parties on Saturday demanded that the Sindh government immediately stop demolition of poor people’s houses in district Central’s Mujahid Colony and accused a Pakistan Peoples Party leader of using his party’s government for his petty gains.

They announced that they would hold a protest in front of the Chief Minister House and at Karachi Press Club after 48 hours if the demolition operation was not stopped.

The leaders, including disgruntled Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan leader Dr Farooq Sattar, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s Khurram Sher Zaman, Awami National Party’s Shahi Syed and Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl’s Qari Usman, were speaking at a ‘grand party jirga’ against the demolition of houses and shops in Mujahid Colony in Nazimabad No 4.

Dr Sattar said that so far 127 houses had been demolished. “I stand with the victims, now no one can dare to demolish any more houses,” he declared.

‘Grand jirga’ demands action against hospital constructed on state land

He said that several private hospitals were also illegally constructed on state land.

Mr Sher Zaman of the PTI said that he would raise the plight of displaced people in the provincial assembly.

JUI-F’s Qari Usman said that Mujahid Colony was not a locality to be built in a few months or 10 years. “Since the establishment of Pakistan, it has gradually emerged.”

He said that it was being claimed that Mujahid Colony was being demolished on the orders of the Supreme Court, while the name of Mujahid Colony was not even mentioned in the apex court’s decision. “There are 50-year-old houses, millions of people are living in over 4,000 houses,” he added.

He said that the provincial government had handed over “entire district Central to one person for his convenience and mischief”. Dr Asim’s hospital is built on occupied land, he should be arrested,” he demanded.

Meanwhile, the Karachi Development Authority said it will construct a 150-foot-wide road from Nazimabad No.7 to Ziauddin Hospital at a cost of Rs50 million after the removal of encroachments on the state land in Mujahid Colony and Wahid Colony.

KDA Director General Muhammed Ali Shah said that around 60 per cent of the occupied land had so far been retrieved.

The KDA had on Aug 28 started issuing evacuation notices to the residents of Wahid Colony that also included a portion of Nazimabad. They said that on Oct 14, the KDA again issued notices to the residents who refused to accept the notices and started violent protests.

Sources said that the residents were occupying the state land without any official document.

As many as 11 affected residents of Mujahid Colony filed a constitutional petition in the Sindh High Court but the court threw out their plea on Oct 31 as the petitioners failed to produce any survey slip issued by the Katchi Abadi authorities.

Later, residents of Mujahid Colony moved another petition in the SHC and the court issued notices to a date to be later fixed by the court’s office.

Published in Dawn, November 13th, 2022