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July 15, 2020

PTI lawmakers attend fishermen’s protest at Keamari

Karachi

July 15, 2020

A delegation of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) lawmakers and leaders on Tuesday attended a protest of the fishermen community at Keamari.

According to the PTI, the demonstration was held to highlight “corruption in the provincial fisheries department”. Hundreds of small fishermen anchored their fishing boats outside the Keamari harbour channel on the call of the All Mahigeer Biradri and the Pakistan Fishermen Union to record their protest against “rampant corruption in the fisheries department and highlight their sufferings because of it”.

PTI lawmaker Haleem Adil Shaikh along with Keamari MPA Shahnawaz Jadon, party leader and former provincial minister Haji Muzaffar Shujra and Fishermen Cooperative Society leader Dr Yousuf visited Keamari to show solidarity with the protesters.

Talking to the protesters, Shaikh alleged that the fisheries department provided extortion of Rs20million a month to the top leaders of the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party in Sindh and recently had given 250 jobs in the department based on political nepotism.

The PTI leader asked the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to start a probe into corruption in the fisheries department. Sheikh said the PTI would support the protest campaign for the rights of the poor fishermen.

“Owners of big trawlers can catch fish, but a poor fisherman is not allowed to earn a livelihood. The PTI will not tolerate injustice with small fishermen and raise voice for their rights,” the PTI leader said.

He said the PPP was responsible for the suffering of poor fishermen. He said Adul Qadir Patel, the PPP MNA from Keamari, made tall claims but did not support the protest of the fishermen. Keamari MPA Jadoon said Fishermen's Cooperative Society Chairman Abdul Bar was “the father of previous chairman Nisar Morai in corruption”.

“Bar, who has been appointed on the post with Patel’s support, gives Rs20million extortion to the Bilawal House every month,” Jadoon alleged. “Kutchi fishermen are the real owners of the megacity of Karachi, but still they are deprived of the basic necessities of life,” he said.

Shujra said the small fishermen had been facing huge problems. “In 1993, a trawler would cost Rs2 million and today it costs Rs10 million,” he lamented. “I was with the PPP and served on the party’s key positions, including the provincial minister and the party’s Karachi president. But I left the party only due to its corruption.”

Yousuf said small fishermen were facing huge problems for the past two months but only owners of the fishing trawlers were allowed to earn huge profits. “When I was the FCS director, there was a balance of Rs300 million which was increased to Rs580 million. This amount was devoured within six months.”