The World Sindhi Congress (WSC) held a protest opposite Downing Street, London on June 6 against large-scale land grabbing in Pakistan’s Sindh province, particularly the illegal occupation of Bahria Town in Karachi.
The rally was attended by Sindhi and Baloch activists from around the United Kingdom. Scores of the people attending the rally raised slogans against the occupation of Bahria Town and the land grabbing in Sindh by the Pakistani Army and its proxies.
The speakers at the protest informed that Bahria Town — owned by Malik Riaz — spans 46,000 acres and is one of the most valuable lands of indigenous Sindhi people. They said that it has been occupied by force and deceit and with the support of the Pakistani state.
The Supreme Court found the acquisition of land by Bahria Town illegal. However, making a mockery of the judicial system an implementation bench fined Bahria Town PKR 460 billion (USD 3 billion) and legalised it.
As a result, police and other agencies have forced hundreds-year-old communities to leave, villages; historical sites, and ecosystems. The authorities are said to be intimidating and implicating in false cases those who refuse to leave. The communities living there for centuries have been forcefully displaced by the state.
The speakers said that it is not only the Bahria Town, land grabbing on a colonial scale is taking place in Sindh, which involves DHA (Defence Housing Authority) City, Fizaia Colony, Commander City, 8 Phases of Defence Housing Authority (DHA).
These schemes extend over hundreds of thousands of acres of valuable land in Karachi.
Additionally, the army has snatched hundreds of thousands of acres of agricultural lands. The speakers emphasised that the Pakistani state and its army want to gulp all the resources of Sindhi people, gas, oil, coal, water, islands, coastal lands, jobs. Sindhi people are witnessing the worst colonial occupation in their thousands of years of history.
They said that the Pakistani state has clear designs to convert Sindhis into a minority in their historical homeland. They suggested that the only way forward for the survival of the Sindhi people is a united struggle against unprecedented tyranny. They paid tribute to the ongoing struggle of the Sindhi people against the odds and pledged to be part of it.
The speakers promised to reach out to the International Community for their help against these crimes against humanity by the Pakistan state.
The speaker at the London protest included: Dr. Rubina Greenwood, Chairperson WSC, Samad Baloch, Vice President Baloch Human Rights Council (BHRC), Hakeem Wadhela, Chairman Baloch National Movement (BNM) UK, Kadija Mahar, Chairperson International Sindhi Women Organisation (ISWO), Hassan Hamdam, Vice President BHRC, Fahmmeda Khushik, Deputy Organiser WSC UK, Hafeezan Wadhyo, Information Secretary WSC and Dr. Lakhu Luhana, General Secretary WSC. (ANI)