KARACHI: At least 200 more families have left Lyari for safer lands despite claims by the provincial and federal government that peace will be maintained in the volatile neighbourhood.
Four buses packed with women and children left the community centres on Jumah Baloch Road, Agra Taj, for rural parts of the province on Sunday afternoon and the community fears that the entire locality will be empty within the next few days. “There were around 1,000 Rahimoon families living in the area but a majority of them have left,” said Abdul Aziz Rahimoon. “Those left behind plan to go soon too but I have been trying to stop them from leaving the area.”
The members of the Kutchi community were very critical of government’s performance in maintaining law and order and said that nothing concrete has been done so far. “A few policemen patrol the Shah Abdul Latif Road but they avoid the areas where armed men roam freely,” said Abdul Latif, a resident.
The residents also vented their anger at the government for failing to provide for the families lodged in the Jamaat Khanas for the last two weeks. “How can you expect them to set up camps for us in the rural areas when they didn’t do anything for us in the provincial capital,” said Qasim Hingoro, adding that despite being aware of the miserable condition of those displaced, they want to move too.
“Our brothers and sisters are in pathetic condition but our strength as a community lies in sharing our happiness as well as our hardships,” said Rahimoon.
The Express Tribune also learnt that dozens of families will leave five more Jamaat Khanas in the next few days as, according to them, fear reigns supreme in their area. “Our kids are scared of the silence,” said Sakina Bibi of Mandra Mohalla. “My two sisters and brother have moved to Badin along with their families and I want to join them too.”
The residents unanimously demanded a concerted effort from the law enforcement agencies in rooting out criminal elements who want to keep the area destabilised. “With all the people leaving, this area is another Mewa Shah graveyard in the making,” said a visibly concerned resident.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 15th, 2013.