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Monday November 29, 2021

PPP accused of deceiving Malir residents to win PS-88 by-poll

October 22, 2021

Expressing their anger against the Sindh government for not altering the route of the Malir Expressway project, leaders of the Baloch Yakjehti Committee (BYC) on Wednesday claimed that the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leadership had lied to the residents of the villages of Malir only to win the PS-88 by-election held in February.

In a meeting of the BYC — a Karachi-level committee of Baloch intellectual, political and community leaders — the participants agreed to organise a protest rally on the National Highway on October 31.

They decided that the rally would be held from Malir 15 to the Anwar Baloch Hotel to oppose the expressway project, which would demolish the oldest villages of the area, displace a large number of people and destroy cultivation.

Chaired by BYC head and veteran politician Yousaf Masti Khan, the meeting said that in the name of development projects in Malir, the PPP leadership had been turning the indigenous people of the area into a minority and displacing thousands of them after demolishing their villages.

They lamented that despite the announcement of Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah of altering the Malir Expressway’s route to allay the concerns of the local population, development work was being carried out on the project’s old route, which meant that the residents of Malir had been deceived by the PPP.

Last year in December, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari had performed the groundbreaking of the expressway project, terming it the biggest civic infrastructure project ever carried out by any provincial government in Pakistan under public-private partnership.

The project is to be built as an access-controlled 38.5-kilometre-long high-speed toll expressway to connect Karachi’s centre to the M-9, a motorway between Karachi and Hyderabad. However, residents of more than two dozen old villages fear that the expressway’s construction would displace thousands of them.