Beaten and homeless

Everyone’s heard of the $43 billion (as if) development projects on the twin islands off the coast of Karachi; now the first human costs (or are they just collateral damage?) have been incurred (from today’s News):

“According to a release of PFF on Friday, around 12:00 noon, officials reached Bhandar Island and forced the fishing families to vacate their huts.

In a two-hour operation, locals were also subjected to torture on refusing to leave their houses, while over 50 houses of katchi abadi of the island were razed resulting in injuries to Bashir Ali and two fishermen Rajab Ali and Gul Hassan.”

32 Comments so far

  1. Mariam (unregistered) on December 9th, 2006 @ 11:04 am

    Who is behind this project? Which political party and govt. officials are benefiting from it?


  2. SWA (unregistered) on December 9th, 2006 @ 12:16 pm

    Just inhumane. Whats even worse is that there is no way to challenge the government in court cause we dont have a good judicial or justice system.

    Whereas in America, if this were happening, somebody would have filed a case against the government and they would have had to stand trial just like anybody else. Unfortunately, it is Pakistan, and our religious parties seem to be having some beef to pick with the US whereas they totally ignore the injustices faced by society here.


  3. ash (unregistered) on December 9th, 2006 @ 12:16 pm

    Truly gruesome. Not original though, “squatters” if thats what they are have a pretty rough time of it all over, most famously the Indian damn project etc.
    My heart bleeds for them. If these muslims were being treated this badly in India/Israel we’d have a thousand wars/riots over it.
    Apparently muslims dont feel obliged to treat each other well.


  4. d0ct0r (unregistered) on December 9th, 2006 @ 12:40 pm

    MQM (Baber Guari ,Minister port and shipping ) have already pocketed his share for this deal and sent it to London so Altaf won’t make any noise about this issue at all… Emaar properties from UAE will be developing this island and they’ve paid handsome amount to MQM to get it all approved… as they say in current administration u can get any thing approved as long as that brit(Altaf) gets his share in london…

    http://emaar.com


  5. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on December 9th, 2006 @ 2:11 pm

    Cy, another good post and may I say it a sequel of your last post? I wonder your last post didn’t get much attention and everyone was actually praising the image and discussing browser issues.


    Everyone’s heard of the $43 billion (as if) development projects on the twin islands off the coast of Karachi;

    I’m sorry but majority is not clear about all issue. What all I know that ARbab rahim is fighting with Fedral govt that it’s “Sind Property”. Is this not the same case? I wonder noone made any post about that conflict or did I miss something? It’s better that you or someone else[prolly Dakter teeth] should make a post about it here on your personal blogs.


    Who is behind this project?

    Talibans


    Which political party and govt. officials are benefiting from it?

    Al-qaeda

    I mean.. govt officials who were appointed by Musharraf in local and fedral govt who are actually 90% feudals 5% army and rest so called middle classed MQM people would never accept their mistakes and certainly they need someone who should be blamed and these days talibans are very easy target.


  6. king_of_sharah_faisal (unregistered) on December 9th, 2006 @ 2:42 pm

    this report is a good example of the paranoid and the lazy-assed nature of pakistani journalists who lack the ability and the motivation to do even most basic investigative work. the news item in question is a verbatim press release of pff. there has been no attempt to get government version or even to investigate the basic facts such as how long have people resided on these islands and what is their number and the motivation of pff in opposing any development work on the coastal zone.

    as far as these projects go, they have been approved by city government which has been democratically elected and has the manadate from karachites to develop karachi. development process unfortunately will create some losers. the best way to help these people is to provide them with better alternatives. development process cannot stop because squatters/kuchchi abadi walas might be incovenienced. furthermore these elements are also exploited by elements who want a piece of action. opposition politicians jump in the fray because they want to see their opponents succeed.

    also karachites should realise that these sorts of projects are being undertaken all over the middle east often on the back of pakistani labour working like serfs. creating opportunities for them in pakistan is the best way to protect pakistani labour aabroad and at home. more importanttly karachi’s infrastructure has to improve if we are to compete with other large cities in our neighbourhood. unfortunately city filled with kuchchi abadis just wont cut it.


  7. king_of_sharah_faisal (unregistered) on December 9th, 2006 @ 2:48 pm

    in my last post, please read “opposition politicians jump in the fray because they want to see their opponents succeed” as :

    “opposition politicians jump in the fray because they DONT want to see their opponents succeed”.


  8. Formerly Yahya (unregistered) on December 9th, 2006 @ 8:41 pm

    Money wins…every time. The rest is just academic.


  9. Ajeeb (unregistered) on December 9th, 2006 @ 9:21 pm

    The mega projects that help Pakistan gain economic strength and help millions across the nation must stay moving. Even on the cost of few houses. The uneducated fishermen do not see the long term benefits that it will bring to them and others. Plus our nation is too emotional and illogical they always side with the one who falls or pretend to fall. It is a sad event for them whos lives were disrupted but we have to look at the complete picture. However! their is no excuse for violence.


  10. Mo (unregistered) on December 9th, 2006 @ 9:35 pm

    @SWA..this happens in America too, and in Canada, and in UK. its called Eminent Domain. The logic is that the govt should have the right to take this land so that it can be used for the greater good of society. Its one of the powers a govt possess. But ofcourse it doesnt involve any form of torture. Just thought id inform all the bloggers.
    Cheers


  11. Captain's Log (unregistered) on December 9th, 2006 @ 10:24 pm

    Good Post CY. Seriously I really like this project as there would be casinos and I would be able to play Poker once I am back. On the side note, Govt. should have given all of those families few lacs to start life again.


  12. Captain's Log (unregistered) on December 9th, 2006 @ 10:27 pm

    Good Post CY. Seriously I really like this project as there would be c@sinos and I would be able to play P*oker once I am back. On the side note, Govt. should have given all of those families few lacs to start life again.


  13. Kashif (unregistered) on December 9th, 2006 @ 10:32 pm

    This is what happened with people living in path of the lyari expressway – Govt bulldozed their homes and gave them land (but no money to build on) in hawks bay. It takes more than 2 hours and 3 bus changes to reach city from that point. How on earth those poor souls gonna survive?


  14. zs (unregistered) on December 10th, 2006 @ 2:25 am

    No “mega development projects” ever end up benefiting the poor of the country… they only make the rich richer. back in the 60s, mega projects was the main paradigm for 3rd world development, and such projects frequenty took hold all over the world, building big dams, huge highway systems etc. eventually they realized that this top-down approach doesn’t result in any real uplift for the lowest ebbs of society, just destroys their traditional systems for a cash-based one where they always lose out. these poor fishermen will be “relocated” to some other slum where they will end up begging, working as labourers, or, even worse, get involved in crime. in return, we’ll get some fancy island resorts where the rich can go for their joy-rides and be amazed at the “progress” we’re making, and all the parties concerned (local govt, federal govt, the army, the political parties, the banks) will all get their hefty cut from another white elephant project


  15. turab (unregistered) on December 10th, 2006 @ 4:00 am

    I completely agree with development but I must say that the evacuees shold have been given land and compensation , just like the Liyari Expressway project did……

    God Bless MUSHI!


  16. Captain's Log (unregistered) on December 10th, 2006 @ 6:37 am

    The real problem is that these islands belong to Sind but Federal Govt(read Punjab) wants its share from this deal. They did not consult at all Sind Govt. and Federal govt. has set this deal all by its own and here people are so stupid that they think Karachi would get its share from those Billion Dollars. If only Karachi could get 20% of that deal …

    I have no prejudice against Punjab nor any one but I am just trying to put here different perspective.


  17. Captain's Log (unregistered) on December 10th, 2006 @ 6:41 am

    Just read that Islamabad wants Jinnah’s personal belongings for its museum and they are all set to take it away from Karachi.

    Though who cares for such stuff, I wish they could just take whole ‘Mazaar’ and give us that damn space that has worth of billions of rupees.


  18. Adnan (unregistered) on December 10th, 2006 @ 7:09 am

    why dont they just make karachi a separate state… good for every one


  19. Karachiite (unregistered) on December 10th, 2006 @ 7:41 am

    The fact is that people in Pakistan need to learn to live with and obey laws. Land grabbing is so common in Pakistan that any Tom Dick and Harry can grab any piece of land anywhere and get away with it. Karachi’s growth is stunted because large parts of Karachi, probably the majority, consists of shanty towns that were grabbed illegally. Any time the city authorities try to remove the worst offenders there is a hue and cry, which very soon becomes an accusation of ethnic cleansing. Then there’s an uproar.

    You can forget about development Karachi, or other parts of Pakistan, if squatters can rob the prime real estate in the country and get away with it.

    The Layari Expressway is an example. There are probably 200,000 (I think) people being relocated for that project. But because the ethnic group being moved is the majority in Karachi it never became an explosive issue. Although I personally think that the alternative arrangements made for the people should have been better.

    What we need to do is be firm with the illegal squatters. They have no choice but to move. No legal documents, no rights to the land. But treat them with care and make some adequate arrangements for them.

    What do people crying for illegals want? Total anarchy? Free for all? Pakistan is there for the grabbing? Legal owners have no rights? Come on guys.


  20. Mariam (unregistered) on December 10th, 2006 @ 7:42 am

    If MQM is behind it then how come MMA is not trying to benefit from it politically? It’s a nice chance and according to Islam it is wrong to uproot your Muslim brothers. MMA never remember how Islam guides you to take care for miskeen, widows and poor through your extra wealth (which is already collected from public in the name of zakat). I guess they are too busy passing Morality bills and opposing Hudood ordinance.

    The said are investing millions and I’m sure going to earn far more when the project is finished so why not repatriate these villagers somewhere. If govt. gives them some tax break then they might feel obligated to do it. Again they are already getting all the benefits by bribing official so why do they care about poor folks.


  21. Karachiite (unregistered) on December 10th, 2006 @ 7:57 am

    I don’t think that this is a case of the federal govt. grabbing Sindh or Karachi’s resources. The present federal govt. under Mush is genuinely trying to help Karachi. This project will be good for the city and for the county so we should support it.

    Here’s why:

    1) Major infusion of money and expertise by a blue chip Dubai company.
    2) Lots of jobs during years of construction.
    3) Boost to local construction industry.
    4) The project will create first world class neighbourhood in the city.
    5) The project will introcduce a new standard of quality that the local builders will have to follow.
    6) Local companies will gain experience in high quality construction.
    7) There will be huge foreign exchange coming into the country as Pakistanis abroad buy property in this development.
    8) There will be a brain GAIN as Pakistanis move back to live here.
    9) I can go on and on.


  22. Captain's Log (unregistered) on December 10th, 2006 @ 8:33 am

    Clappings for Kaarchiite please. Only all people could be like him, we would have another Dubai here


  23. wasiq (unregistered) on December 10th, 2006 @ 8:45 am

    oh no! now i’ll have to redesign my monopoly board…..i lov monopoly….!

    @cy….is it true…i have heard a rumour about saddar being developed as a residential area by the town nazim……


  24. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on December 10th, 2006 @ 12:28 pm

    Karachiite:

    10)* Live concerts of Shakira


  25. Kashif (unregistered) on December 10th, 2006 @ 2:47 pm

    11) Sheikhs coming to the islands instead of going to Sharjah for ‘entertainment’


  26. naveed (unregistered) on December 11th, 2006 @ 1:08 am

    12. Foreign investors would be encouraged to visit, live and invest in Karachi as they are currently afraid of the security.
    13. We would get a relief in traffic situation if the diplomatic enclave is moved there.
    14. Many multinationls, banks, restaurants would open in the city generating huge emplyment even for the middle/upper middle class.
    and so on…
    BTW a similar project is also being implemented in Islamabad (Canyon Views I think!!) by the same company emaar and also a dubai-like city is being developed on the outskirts of lahore by a pakistani and a UAE firm.
    Why these politicians make an issue only when there is development in Karachi and remain silent when other parts of Pakistan have similar projects??


  27. ash (unregistered) on December 11th, 2006 @ 3:50 am

    In terms of developement all the above are valid points. There seems to be good rationale for relocating, but the alleged “torture” part is inexusable if its true.


  28. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on December 11th, 2006 @ 6:38 am

    So who will be the center of attraction? Shakira or a Shaikh?


  29. Kashif (unregistered) on December 11th, 2006 @ 9:59 am

    It will be good for Karachi as most of the filthy rich would move to Diamond City. I foresee roads without traffic jams, property prices down to common man’s reach and relatively less crime rate :)


  30. d0ct0r (unregistered) on December 12th, 2006 @ 6:51 pm

    lol@ Kashif …. rich are getting richer and richer are getting filthy rich… so still no room for common man in sight….


  31. turab (unregistered) on December 14th, 2006 @ 4:59 am

    well said khiette, and ofcourse the ranters start mazaaq after a valid point instead of acknowledging them…


  32. Formerly Yahya (unregistered) on December 14th, 2006 @ 7:07 pm

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