Islamabad: Katchi Abadi dwellers from across Islamabad held a massive protest demonstration against the eviction threat from Capital Development Authority (CDA).
Larger number of Capital slum localities residents including women and children gathered in-front of National Press Club (NPC) on the call of All-Pakistan Alliance for Katchi Abadis.
They held banners and placards condemning the eviction drive and chanted vociferous slogans against the CDA and federal government for targeting the poor. They committed to continue hold protest till the last blood.
Speaking on the occasion, Awami Workers Party Punjab president Aasim Sajjad said that even though there have been no operations by the CDA over the past ten days or so, there has been no clear commitment made by the authority to call off the eviction plan.
He said residents only want guarantee that they will be allowed to live in their homes in peace, or that they will be provided alternative shelter options.
He alleged that ruling PML-N has so far tighten the lips. Which is an indicator of just how indifferent it is to the plight of the urban poor, he added.
Former federal minister and activist for minority rights Julius Salik in his speech has said that previous governments had also launched eviction drives but neither these katchi abadis disappeared nor authorities make any attempt to address the long-term shortage of housing for the poor.
He said that the government and the CDA have no interest in resolving the katchi abadi phenomenon because individual government and state functionaries derive tremendous financial benefits from the existence of the informal settlements and regularization of katchi abadis would deprive the corrupt officials of huge sources of income.
A number of representatives of katchi abadi dwellers also spoke on the occasion, all of whom emphasized the unity between Christians and Muslims, Punjabis and Pashtuns.
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