KARACHI: People from coastal community, mainly men and women, on Wednesday thronged the traditional jetties in Karachi to lead the demonstration to condemn the sale of islands.
The crew members of boats also extended their support to the protesting indigenous people for the issue.Hundreds of people gathered in their areas to mark the protest, expressing solidarity with the people in Ibrahim Hydri and Rehri, who may lose their routes to the open sea in the wake of development initiated by foreign investors.A major rally was carried out in Ibrahim Hydri which culminated to Rehri Mayan in which hundreds of women with their babies came to to mobilise other natives about how they were being deprived of their ancestral rights.
Similar rallies were taken out in Hyderabad, Sanghar, Umerkot, Qambar-Shahdadkot, Kashmore and other districts to show resentment against the ‘illegal’ development and the deal inked by the previous PPP-led government.Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF) activists and office-bearers led the processions to condemn the government, which is depriving local people of their basic rights and dislodging them from their houses.
“We will not allow the government to put our natural resources at stake, especially the deal on twin islands—Dingi and Bundar, which are the places where hundreds of fishermen earn their livelihood to feed their families,” said Majid Motani, a senior boat captain and community leader from Hydri.“Our lives and livelihoods are at stake because of discrimination with coastal communities. We are facing frequent warning calls of cyclones, tsunamis and disasters,” he said.
Mangroves are being destroyed along 129-km long Karachi coast and despite our protests, nobody from the government paid heed to save these resources. We will not accept this kind of development which dislodges our families out of their homes, he said.Tahira Ali appealed to women that this was the time to come forward and show their strength while casting votes to true candidates to save our resources. We will not vote to PPP candidates who never come for rescuing our children in times of difficulties.
She said women would lead the movement as they had talent and potential to talk to the parliamentarians and those challenging ‘our resources.’The women traveled long distance, calling it the day of protests for the fishermen, farmers and herders.In Hyderabad, Mustafa Meerani, Mohammed Mallah, Amjad Mallah and others led the rally, which attracted a large number of people hailing from different coastal belts. – DailyTimes