Leaked memo: Slum dwellers vow to resist eviction

CDA planning demolition of katchi abadis.

Our Correspondent March 15, 2014
A photo of a slum in Islamabad. PHOTO: AFP


The leftist Awami Workers Party (AWP) and the All Pakistan Alliance for Katchi Abadis have vowed to resist the Capital Development Authority’s (CDA) plan to demolish at least around a dozen katchi abadis in Islamabad, an AWP press release said.

The AWP has declared the demolition campaign, which surfaced when a secret CDA memo was leaked, as “unacceptable” and “an attack on the fundamental rights of thousands of working-class people who live in the capital’s slums.

The February 28 memo carried a notification from CDA Member Estate Shaista Sohail which featured a schedule for an eviction drive in an I-11 slum for March 24.

Members of the AWP and the katchi abadis alliance met with Sohail on Friday to share their concernd. But Sohail allegedly refused to accept the concerns as legitimate and, according to AWP members, used demeaning language to “rebuff the claims of the katchi abadi representatives.”

The CDA has not mentioned any resettlement plan or compensation except a two-day ration and transport fare for the slum dwellers to get to their hometowns, the AWP release stated. The katchi abadi alliance also condemned the government’s narrative that suspected militants are using the slums as safe havens.

AWP Punjab General-Secretary Aasim Sajjad Akhtar said the CDA is selectively choosing to demolish the katchi abadis but it does not dare touch illegal constructions and encroachments in posh sectors of the capital.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 15th, 2014.



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