KARACHI: The Sindh government is trying to appease the establishment by allotting 9,600 acres to the armed forces in Shikarpur, according to Saeeda Gopang of the Awami Jamhoori Party (AJP).
"This is very worrisome news from the Sindh government that it is allotting thousands of acres of forest land to the army for the benefit of the martyrs' families," said Gopang, speaking to party members outside Karachi Press Club on Sunday. The protest was led by AJP leaders Hareef Chandio, Qadir Birohi, Rasheed Sadhayo, Qambar Hajano and Pervez Abro.
The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) led Sindh government is trying to get on good terms with the establishment by taking this step, said Gopang. According to her, the PPP is trying to hide its corruption and bad governance and is compromising on the interests of the province.
Party activists condemned the decision and demanded its reversal. "The people of Sindh will not accept political deals on their Sufi land," said Chandio, adding that, in the past, millions of acres of land have been allotted to people not belonging to the province.
"History is witness to how Sindh's land was gifted to generals and bureaucrats after the construction of the Sukkur, Kotri and Guddu barrages," said Birohi. He added that the number of landless peasants in Sindh is higher than in any other province. He said that generals had already been given millions of acres in Sindh, which is why the province remained poor.
The party leaders said that, as a political entity, the AJP respects and honours the sacrifices of the brave soldiers who laid down their lives in the fight against extremism and terrorism.
They suggested that the federal government provide compensation to the families of the martyred soldiers from the defence budget, claiming that the people of Sindh would never compromise on the distribution of the land.
The party is running a three-day campaign against the government's decision and will hold rallies in 16 districts of Sindh.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 30th, 2015.