Land once allocated as amenity parks becomes the exclusive property of the public and there is no law on statute books which allows an irregularity and illegality to be regularised, even under an out-of-court settlement or compromise. Land grabbing in Karachi started during the tenure of the military dictator Pervez Musharraf, when the MQM activists went on a rampage, making kidnapping for ransom a business, whilst its target killers silenced anybody who dared to criticise or oppose the party and its leaders. A state that allows such abuse to go on unchallenged is doomed and has no bright future.
After 2002, illegalities escalated and today neither private nor state land, including even forests, is safe. Thousands of acres of land belonging to railways, including that on which the Karachi Circular Railway was built, was taken over by the mafia and to-date people continue to suffer due to displacements.
Malik Tariq Ali
Published in The Express Tribune, June 18h, 2021.