Slums could affect Muslim majority in Islamabad: CDA

Published: December 5, 2015
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PHOTO: ELISHMA KHOKHAR

PHOTO: ELISHMA KHOKHAR

ISLAMABAD: 

The Capital Development Authority (CDA) has used the lowest common denominator to justify its slum razing — bigotry. The civic agency, in a reply to the Supreme Court, has claimed that the influx of poor Christians from across the country could lead to ‘demographic problems’. Its suggestions to resolve the slum crisis also include a number of points that may infringe on the fundamental rights of citizens.

The CDA’s typo-laden reply in the katchi abadis case states, “it is necessary to identify the fact that most katchi abadis are under the occupation of the Christian community” and have shifted from across the country and occupied government land so boldly it has been allotted to them and it seems “this pace of occupation of land may affect the Muslim majority of the capital”.

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The reply also states that katchi abadis distort the image of many sectors of the federal capital, making them resemble ugly villages, whereas Islamabad was once considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

The CDA contends that it is urgently necessary to remove katchi abadis to provide a better environment to the citizens of capital and protect the beauty of Islamabad, while also preventing state land from being stolen.

It also said people who do not believe rule of law are being encouraged by recognition of some katchi abadis, and that this leads to more encroachment of CDA land by encroachers and land grabbers.

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The reply states that these encroachers have occupied land worth billions of rupees and the CDA is not in a position to dispose of this land through auctions to finance development work, adding that funds are also required for the provision of alternate accommodation.

The CDA also accuses some slum residents of acting as slumlords, saying that they build shacks in the slums and then sell or rent them out.

The reply says that the CDA currently has no provisions in its governing ordinance for regulation of illegal settlements, adding that the housing ministry and National Housing Authority, on the direction of the federal government may take measures for the resettlement of squatters, and that this can only be done by allocation of a special budget for the acquisition of land at suitable locations, which need not be within the city limits of the capital.

It also said that there are thousands of low income groups who came from different parts of the country in search of jobs, residing in Rawalpindi in single rooms,  and even servant quarters, but they do not encroach government land. Contrary to this, encroachers of CDA land do not care for law or regulation, and if these were allowed to accommodate in Islamabad this may result in create of deprivation among the poor people who are living in Rawalpindi

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The CDA suggests that the federal and provincial governments formulate policies regarding the improvement of economic conditions of villagers in order to discourage rural-urban migration.

It also requested the SC to allow action to be taken against illegal settlements falling in Islamabad’s limits and for illegal occupants to be returned to their hometowns.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 5th, 2015.

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Reader Comments (12)

  • Jawad U Rahman
    Dec 5, 2015 - 11:11AM

    CDA officers responsible for this document should be fired. Recommend

  • ajeet
    Dec 5, 2015 - 11:16AM

    Looks like intolerance is an official policy in Pakistan.Recommend

  • amir
    Dec 5, 2015 - 12:10PM

    Like Kachi Abadies eaten all the land of Pakistan Railway this will also eat all the precious land of Islamabad. This is the land graber if the Supreme court give them legal it will be devastating for all the institution of state.Recommend

  • Khan
    Dec 5, 2015 - 12:37PM

    @ajeet:
    No one in pakistan is naming flyovers after Godse or any other assassin as has been tried in India. Recommend

  • Iqbal
    Dec 5, 2015 - 3:28PM

    How can Christians be allowed to make our ‘Land of Pure’ impure?Recommend

  • observer
    Dec 5, 2015 - 3:34PM

    The civic agency, in a reply to the Supreme Court, has claimed that the influx of poor Christians from across the country could lead to ‘demographic problems’.

    Shouldn’t Europe use the same excuse for Muslims flocking there? They are not even citizens of these countries.Recommend

  • Srehman
    Dec 5, 2015 - 3:46PM

    Disgusting to the core ,the GENIUSES who thaught and approved of this statement should be prosecuted…I am shocked..Recommend

  • Clockboy Ahmed
    Dec 5, 2015 - 7:32PM

    @Khan:
    Indians are just making flyovers, we train and nourish people who can fly in to buildings and towers. Recommend

  • Dec 5, 2015 - 10:35PM

    Capital Development Authority what believed, so responded in Supreme Court of Pakistan. I am hopeful, such kind of statements will give them an opportunity to become social.Recommend

  • Singh
    Dec 6, 2015 - 6:57AM

    And Ch. Nisar asking EU to keep illegal immigrant from Pakistan to keep there.Recommend

  • Sarfaraz
    Dec 10, 2015 - 11:08PM

    @Ajeet Hypocrisy is bad.Recommend

  • Reza Ali
    Dec 14, 2015 - 8:31PM

    Mr Jawad ur Rehman is right to ask for the sacking of the CDA officials who prepared this response. But, following minimum measures( should be taken: 1) all members of the CDA Board and the CDA Chairman who should be dismissed from service; (2) the federal minister responsible for the CDA who should be asked by the Prime Minister to resign from Parliament; (3) the Supreme Court should summon the Prime Minister to the Court to explain if the reply represents government policy – if he says it is not, then he should be directed to ensure that this message is conveyed clearly to all and sundry after dismissing his Minister and bureaucrats (as at 1 and 2 above). Recommend

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