The displacement of Kutchi community members from Karachi to rural Sindh took a new turn on Friday when the federal government took notice of the issue.
In its bid to outdo the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government, the Sindh provincial government formed a five-member committee and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leaders sprang into action and rushed to Badin and Thatta to woo the displaced Kutchi community members into returning to their homes in Lyari.
The development came to fore when Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif directed the federal interior secretary and Intelligence Bureau director general to travel to Karachi without any delay to meet provincial government officials and other stakeholders in order to resolve the matter.
The Kutchi community has been forced out of their homes in Lyari after unabated attacks.
The committee members -- Taj Haider, Rashid Rabbani, Dr Sikandar Mandhro, Ali Mardan Shah and Jam Mahtab Dahar -- reached Thatta where they assured the displaced people that the government has started establishing the pickets and check posts in Lyari and that they would be taken back to Lyari within a couple of days.
Later, the committee members visited the Shah Gurio shrine in Badin district where a majority of the displaced Kutchi community members have taken shelter.
Sindh Law Minister Dr Sikandar Mandhro, who belongs to Badin, appealed to the people living under the open sky to move to government schools, but the Kutchi community bluntly refused and demanded action against the criminals as well as peace in Lyari. All our properties and houses have been occupied by members of criminal gangs, they said.
Members of the committee said President Asif Ali Zardari has also taken serious notice of the issue. Within two days, the government will implement the decision taken at the trilateral meeting held in the commissioner’s office in Karachi and take you all to Lyari by Sunday, Dr Mandhro assured the Kutchi community.
“[The] Sindh government is already serious on the Lyari issue before the prime minister has taken notice of it,” he said, adding Lyari has been the stronghold of PPP and the provincial authorities would restore peace in that area soon.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 13th, 2013.
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