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October 15, 2020

KBA terms PIDA Ordinance a bid to displace local population

Karachi

October 15, 2020

The Karachi Bar Association on Wednesday termed the promulgation of the controversial Pakistan Islands Development Authority Ordinance 2020 an attempt to displace the indigenous population to accommodate “the fancy of outsiders”.

In a press conference at the city courts, KBA general secretary GM Korai said the islands, specifically Bundal and Buddo, belonged to the province of Sindh in accordance with Article 172 of the constitution.

He called the ordinance a “black law” which was aimed at breaching the autonomy of the province.

He said a number of families who earned their livelihood from fishing were living on these islands, but the federal government wanted to take away their land and give it to people wanting to live a fancy life on the islands.

KBA president Munir Ahmed Malik remarked that the federal government must not overlook the 18th amendment, as it would push the country towards another crisis. “Islamabad, Sindh and the establishment should resolve this matter.”

Meanwhile, the KBA denounced enforced disappearances of journalists, political and social activists and lawyers, and said the federal government and agencies must act in accordance with the law and the constitution.

Previously, the KBA had passed a resolution against the PIDA Ordinance issued by President Arif Alvi to create a land-owning agency covering the islands around Sindh and Balochistan’s coastline.

“The ordinance takes away complete control from the provincial administration. The authority, proposed to be created, has also been given power to reclaim, which shall deeply impact the only source of living of the local indigenous population. Tax break of 10 years has also been given in the ordinance, which suggests capitalist ventures at the cost of culture and indigenous population,” the resolution read.

The KBA also requested the Supreme Court of Pakistan to take suo moto notice of the matter as being an issue of human rights on account of the local population living on the islands and provincial autonomy in view of the 18th amendment.

“The ordinance is patently illegal as housing etc is a provincial subject and change of land use for commercial construction shall destroy local habitat and ecology.”