Govt says war over extortion, political motives causing Lyari unrest

Sindh govt committee presents conflicting statistics on the number of IDPs.

Our Correspondent July 15, 2013
"Hardly 1,600 people belonging to the Kutchi community have migrated to Thatta and Badin," Law Minister Dr Sikandar Mandhro. PHOTO: NNI/FILE

KARACHI: The war over extortion and political motives have caused the recent spell of violence in Lyari that has forced many members of the Kutchi community to flee to parts of rural Sindh.

This was stated in an initial report prepared by the provincial government’s committee on the migration of Kutchi community submitted to Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah on Monday. The committee comprises five Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) members, including Taj Haider, Dr Sikandar Mandhro, Ali Mardan Shah, Rashid Rabbani and Jam Mahtab Dahar.

It was formed on July 12, soon after the premier Nawaz Sharif asked the federal interior secretary to visit Karachi. The members of the committee visited Badin and Thatta to hold meetings with the internally displaced persons (IDPs) living in camps.

“We have started consulting various stakeholders and recorded statements of elected representatives, politicians, notables and social workers of the area. The initial findings point towards a ‘bhatta mafia’ and political motives as the reason behind the unrest,” a member of the committee told The Express Tribune.

“We will continue recording the statements of different stakeholders and present the final report to the CM within a couple of days.”

There were, however, contradictory statements by the committee members on the number of IDPs who took shelter in Thatta and Badin. Briefing journalists outside his office on Monday, Sindh Law Minister Dr Sikandar Mandhro refuted media reports that thousands of people have been displaced from Lyari. “Hardly 1,600 people belonging to the Kutchi community have migrated to Thatta and Badin,” he said. “They are either living in shrines or have taken refuge at their relatives’ residence.”

PPP leader Taj Haider informed the media that around 3,000 people had been displaced. “Out of the displaced persons, the government is looking after 1,200 people,” he added. “The government is very serious about resolving the problems of the Kutchi community. Very soon we shall end the differences between the Baloch and the Kutchis.”

Another member of the committee told The Express Tribune that they had advised the provincial government to finally implement the decision taken at the office of commissioner Karachi. The decision required setting up more pickets of Rangers and police in the area.

“The committee also highlighted the need to free the properties of the Kutchi community people that have been illegally occupied by rival group members,” the member said.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 16th, 2013.


Abs | 10 years ago | Reply

That is pathetic when a minister says 'only 1600 have been displaced'. He should be terminated immediately for being so insensitive. I wish he has to leave his home / belongings and displaced one day.

Saleem | 10 years ago | Reply

What a finding! This committee must be coming from a different planet and be thrilled on their finding! Now how long we have to wait for another committee from another planet to act on their findings?

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