Plight of the displaced

The plight of the people displaced due to the anti-encroachment drive in Karachi is an urgent humanitarian crisis that demands immediate attention and action. The heart-wrenching reality is that despite court orders and directives, the process of compensating and rehabilitating these displaced families has been marred by delays and inefficiencies. Hollow promises of rental support, crucial for the survival of these individuals, remains undistributed to a significant number of households. Delaying tactics and excuses, such as issues with CNICs or the unfortunate passing of applicants, only add to the complexity of an already dire situation.

Consecutive periodical protests staged by affected persons, including women, is a poignant reminder of the human cost of administrative inadequacies. These families, forcibly uprooted from their homes, face uncertainty, vulnerability and a struggle for survival. They deserve more than promises and bureaucratic hurdles. The assurance of providing plots or funding for construction based on established standards offered a glimmer of hope, yet this promise seems distant for many still waiting for tangible support. Rehabilitation is about ensuring that displaced individuals are not left to fend for themselves in the face of adversity caused by actions meant to improve urban infrastructure.

The authorities must expedite the distribution of pending compensation and streamline the rehabilitation process to assist every affected family promptly. Moreover, the systemic issues leading to such displacements must be evaluated and addressed to prevent similar crises in the future. It is imperative to strike a balance between urban development initiatives and safeguarding the rights and livelihoods of vulnerable communities. As a society, it is our moral obligation to stand in solidarity with these displaced families and advocate for their rights.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 23rd, 2023.