KARACHI: Demanding strict action against those officials who patronized illegal constructions in the metropolis, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan has appealed to the chief justice of Pakistan to ensure alternative residences for all those people who are likely to be displaced.
Kanwar Naveed Jameel, the parliamentary party leader of the MQM-P in the Sindh Assembly, said this while speaking at a press conference here on Tuesday. Other MPAs belonging to the party, including Mohammad Hussain and Khwaja Izharul Hassan, was also present.
He said his party believed that the CJP’s intention to restore the original face of Karachi by ordering an indiscriminate action against all illegal constructions was a step in the “right direction”.
He said it was the responsibility of the federal and provincial governments to provide alternative residences to those who were going to be displaced in the aftermath of a drive against illegally built high-rises and residential complexes.
The CJP had asked the federal and provincial governments to come up with a coordinated plan at the next hearing, he said, adding: “It is our appeal to the chief justice of Pakistan that he should give clear directions to the federal and provincial governments to provide alternative residences to all those who may be displaced.”
Mr. Jameel, who is also a deputy convener of the MQM-P, said that the CJP had also remarked that government officials took no time in taking action against a common man but high-rise buildings and societies were illegally constructed in Karachi and no one bothered to take action against them.
He said that when the Lyari Expressway was constructed, around 28,000 families were evicted and provided with plots and money to construct their homes. “This procedure should be adopted again instead of displacing people,” he said.
He said that recently houses and shops were demolished in Gharibabad to pave the way for the Karachi Circular Railway project and still the affectees were living in their demolished houses as the provincial government was not fulfilling its responsibility.
The MQM leader said that lands belonging to the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation were being encroached upon. “We appeal to the Sindh government to use its anti-encroachment force and police to remove all illegal settlements from KMC lands, including Gutter Baghicha,” he said.
He said his party suspected that those who had been encroaching KMC lands enjoyed patronage from elements within the provincial government.
He said that the CJP should also order strict legal action against all those government officials and politicians who were involved in giving permission for illegal constructions of high-rise buildings, etc.
Answering a question that whether the MQM-P demanded the demolition of a consulate that was constructed on the land of the Karachi Port Trust, he said it would be appropriate if the Supreme Court gave direction in that regard.
Khwaja Izharul Hasan interrupted and said it was not encroachment as the consulate was built after getting permission from the federal government.