ISLAMABAD: Scores of men, women and children residents of the 48 Quarters katchi abadi in sector G-7/3-2 held a protest demonstration under the auspices of the All-Pakistan Alliance for Katchi Abadis against the Capital Development Authority (CDA) for initiating an eviction drive in the abadi even though it is one of the CDAIs 11 recognised katchi abadis in the federal capital.

The residents lamented that they were being forced out of their homes during the tenure of a government that stakes its politics on the slogan .roti, kapra aur makanI, and warned that they would hold a prolonged sit-in outside the CDA head office if and when eviction attempts are made in earnest.

Speaking on the occasion local organizers Amin Jan and Younis Bhatti said that over the past few weeks heaps of dirt has been collected in the area surrounding the abadi under the guise that the CDA is planning to construct a park. They noted that at no point were the abadi residents consulted and if the CDA had made efforts to consider the residents’ concerns those affected might even have been willing to consider resettlement. During the protest it was also noted that a mosque and madrassah building stand immediately adjacent to the abadi and these buildings would ostensibly also be in danger if the proposed park development continues.

The Alliance leaders said that if there is indeed a plan to build a park it should be shared publicly with all residents of the abadi and that immediate resettlement options should be discussed with them. They also decried the general disinterest being shown in their plight by the PML-N MNA for Islamabad, Anjum Aqeel, who has apparently been completely inaccessible to all katchi abadi dwellers in the federal capital despite the fact that the latter constitute the biggest single vote bank in the city.