Leader of the Opposition in the Sindh Assembly Firdous Shamim Naqvi, who belongs to the Pakistan Tehreek-s-Insaf , has demanded that officials responsible for allowing encroachments in Karachi be...
Leader of the Opposition in the Sindh Assembly Firdous Shamim Naqvi, who belongs to the Pakistan Tehreek-s-Insaf (PTI), has demanded that officials responsible for allowing encroachments in Karachi be first penalised before any action is taken for demolitions of the unauthorised residential buildings in the city.
He made the demand while talking to media persons on Saturday after attending a meeting of the PTI on the issue of anti-encroachment drive in the city.
The opposition leader claimed that the practice of encroachments in the city was continuing even in the present day as money was being spent for illegal constructions. He said whosoever had been allowing encroachments on the state land should be strictly penalised.
Naqvi said that officials who had not been discharging their duties to secure the state land in Karachi should be taken to task. He added that every neighbourhood in the city had its own building inspector who was responsible to check illegal constructions in their respective jurisdictions.
He said heads of the relevant civic agencies in the city and provincial ministers concerned were responsible for the encroachments in the city. “Firstly, they all should be penalised and then afterwards, illegal buildings in the city should be demolished,” he said.
“We have decided to resist any attempt to demolish any house in the city and would court arrest as part of our campaign. We would not let any house demolished in the city.”
Naqvi said they had agreed that first corrupt officials should be caught and then houses should be demolished. “We have decided to write a letter to the prime minister in this regard,” he added.
He reiterated his demand that the federal railways minister should provide alternative accommodations to the people living along the route of the Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) before demolishing their houses.
A day earlier, Naqvi led a PTI delegation that met Nisar Memon, the Pakistan Railways divisional superintendent (DS), to discuss the ongoing anti-encroachment drive aimed at clearing the KCR track. Khurrum Sher Zaman, Ali Arsalan, Bilal Ghaffar and Raja Azhar were also in the delegation.
After meeting Memon, Naqvi had told the media that the Railways officials had assured the apex court of initiating the KCR project within three months. “After our meeting with the DS Railway, it is clear that there is no possibility of making KCR project functional in the given time,” the PTI leader said. “We request the apex court to understand the ground realities and take the matter in a humanitarian context. Before the release of the detailed order of the apex court, Pakistan Railways officials have started demolishing the houses.”
He said several years had passed by but not a single plan had been formed to provide alternative housing arrangements to the people who were unaware of the illegality of the land at the time of purchasing.
Terming the demolitions injustice, Naqvi said the poor and working class had been bearing the brunt of the irregularities and corruption committed by government officials.