KARACHI/PAKISTAN: Security barricades around Abdullah Shah Ghazi's shrine may have protected the lives of thousands of his followers who visit the sacred site but the measures have left some families at the brink of starvation.
Ever since twin bomb blasts targeted the famous Sufi's shrine in July 2010, strict security arrangements have been enforced in and around the site. All entry and exit points, except the main gate, have been closed down, leading to the closure of business, such as the shops selling flowers and eatables.
Over a dozen shopkeepers have gone to the Sindh High Court seeking removal of the restrictions so that their businesses may be restored. They claim to be running 14 shops - of the total 50 - situated in the shrine's premises for the past 25 years under a tenancy agreement.
A shopkeeper, Misri Khan, with 10 others took the auqaf secretary and the shrine manager among others to the court on Friday. The petitioners appealed to the court to order the removal of unnecessary restrictions so that the shopkeepers could do their business.
The security arrangements may have protected the sacred place from further terrorist activities but the vendors are facing hardships in earning their livelihood, maintained Misri Khan. "This is sheer violation of our rights to life and to do business," he contended.
Sindh High Court Chief Justice Mushir Alam, who headed the bench, issued notices to the auqaf secretary, the of manager Abdullah Shah Ghazi shrine and Sindh Advocate General to file their replies for a later date.