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July 17, 2019

PA asks govt to get journalists’ land vacated

Karachi

July 17, 2019

The speaker and the treasury and opposition benches of the provincial assembly on Tuesday backed working journalists’ demand of ending the occupation of their residential plots in Hawkesbay Scheme 42, asking the Sindh government to take immediate steps to get the land vacated.

When the issue was raised in the PA on Tuesday, Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani said he was the local government minister when the plots were allotted, adding that the entire House supported the journalists’ demand and called for the provincial government to resolve the matter at the earliest.

Over 210 residential plots of working journalists from different print and electronic media organisations have become a bone of contention between a number of Karachi Press Club members and the Pakistan Navy since 2010, with both parties claiming that the land belongs to them.

However, all the Sindh government authorities — including the Board of Revenue, the Lyari Development Authority and the LG department — confirmed that the land was allotted to journalists by the provincial administration.

The issue was raised in the PA by Mines & Minerals Development Minister Mir Shabbir Ali Bijarani after a large number of journalists marched on the House and held a protest demanding the federal and provincial authorities to resolve their issue. They also urged the Supreme Court, the army chief and the prime minister to intervene.

The protesters said they had approached the higher authorities of the armed forces and the Sindh government on many occasions but to no avail. Journalists covering the PA session also boycotted the session and joined their colleagues outside.

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