KARACHI: Gizri’s fishermen allege that Defence Housing Authority (DHA) has set up barriers at the jetties which prevents them from going to the sea to fish.
It has been 15 days since the fishermen last entered the area, according to a spokesperson of the Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF).
On Thursday the PFF representatives and community elders met DHA’s city director, Brig. Rafiq Qaimkhani, and vigilance director, Col. Amjad, to tackle the matter on a long-term basis. The DHA officials denied they were interfering or disrupting the fishing.
But according to community elders, security guards stopped them from going to the jetties and as a result they haven’t been able to fish for two weeks.
According to a statement issued by the PFF after the Thursday meeting, “It is understood that DHA officials do not like to give space to people to enter from old routes which have now become part of the posh areas of the city.”
The statement said that preventing fishermen from making a living was a violation of human rights. Sindh Fisheries Minister Zahid Hussain Bhurgari has assured fishermen that he will take an interest in the case.
The issue was raised four years ago, and a similar meeting took place. DHA had promised to build a separate pedestrian bridge for the fishermen to enable them to reach the jetties.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 14th, 2012.