Social activist starts hunger strike for Mangla dam affectees

ISLAMABAD: Noted political and social activist Jahangir Akhtar will start a hunger strike for indefinite period from Wednesday at Kallar Syedan to press for the rights of locals affected by Mangla dam upraising project.

“I am initiating this move to express solidarity and help those affected by the Mangla Dam upraising, who have offered unmatched sacrifices for prosperity of country but lack voice in the corridors of power,” he said in a statement issued on Tuesday.

Akhtar said that hunger strike for indefinite period at Kallar Syedan, a Tehsil of District Rawalpindi, will be unconditionally supported by the locals who have been denied their rights since long.

Government must take care of the people who have sacrificed for the expansion of the water reservoir and awaiting financial assistance, resettlement and rehabilitation since long.

Stability, progress and prosperity of Pakistan is linked to mega water reservoirs but ignoring people of Rawalpindi and Jhelum who have sacrificed everything for the project will not give a positive signal, Jahangir Akhtar said.

He said that the hunger strike would continue until the resolution of their major problems include resettlement, financial relief for rehabilitation and the required assistance for shifting to the alternative locations.

Residents of AJK who suffered from the upraising got compensation but the people living of the other bank of the River Jhelum within the territory of Rawalpindi and Jhelum districts have been ignored which is discrimination, he said.

Locals are being systematically deprived of right to live decently and peacefully while the elected leadership continues to ignore their plight that cannot be tolerated; therefore he will start a hunger strike from April 02, said Akhtar.

People of the area that is 54 kilometres away from Islamabad are living in stone Age, without access to proper electricity, roads, education and basic health facilities.

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