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HomeNationalSlums razed in G-11; people question fate of impoverished in Pakistan 

Slums razed in G-11; people question fate of impoverished in Pakistan 

CDA allegedly bulldozes informal settlement in Islamabad, snatches clean drinking water, residents’ possessions

People have wondered whether Pakistan belongs only to the rich after an alleged Capital Development Authority (CDA) anti-encroachment team razed down homes in an informal settlement in G-11, Islamabad.

Political worker Aasim Sajjad Akhtar tweeted a video that seemingly showed a resident of the G-11 katchi abadi lamenting over her house being bulldozed by authorities. The woman said that the houses were razed to the ground, while inhabitants’ possessions and clean drinking water for their children were also taken away. Akhtar said that lawlessness prevailed when it came to the rich, while the ‘daily wage workers’ continued to suffer as authorities took away their shelter right before winter.

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The demolition drew the ire of several on the internet. An Awami Workers Party (AWP) worker Tooba Syed shamed the CDA for terrorizing the impoverished. Syed insisted people ponder over the mental harm caused to the children in the settlement and invited Islamabad to stand up against the grave unfairness.

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A fiction writer, Farhan Rai said that regardless of whether the evictions were legal or not, the demolition of slums was unjust, especially since CDA turned a blind eye towards indiscretions of big developers like Bahria Town.

Rights activist Mashal Arbab said that the CDA should stop acting like a ‘mafia’ and questioned where the struggling poor would go if their roofs were taken from them.

Responding to videos on social media of excavators ravaging the settlement, a user said that Prime Minister Imran Khan had demanded a stay order against demolitions. He added that CDA cracked down on the poor, while allowing the elite to take over ‘green belts with concrete structures’.

An urban planner Muhammad Toheed echoed similar sentiments and said that CDA made the lower class suffer while pandering to the rich and powerful. He added that the demolitions occurred despite a Supreme Court stay order barring CDA from doing so.

According to the AWP too, the demolitions were in violation of a stay order that is in effect by the SC. The AWP tweeted on Wednesday that residents were rendered shelterless by the ‘enforcement directorate of CDA’ as winter closed in.

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