Pak occupied Sindh (PoS): Protest held against feudals occupying lakes

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SUPPORTERS of the Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum stage a protest demonstration in front of the Karachi Press Club on Monday.—PPI
SUPPORTERS of the Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum stage a protest demonstration in front of the Karachi Press Club on Monday.—PPI

KARACHI: The illegal occupation of sweet water lakes by feudal lords could not be removed even after government orders due to which the Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF) held yet another protest demonstration outside the Karachi Press Club on Monday.

They demanded that the Sindh government ensure the removal of the of the occupiers. Talib Katchhi, general secretary of PFF’s Karachi office, said the PFF had been protesting against the occupation of the powerful feudals and landlords for some five years now following which the Sindh Assembly passed the bill for the removal of occupation from 1,209 lakes.

But the feudals, he said, were yet to budge and allow the poor fishermen to earn their livelihood by fishing in these lakes.

It was said that currently around 600 such lakes were under the control of the landlords. The media was informed that only recently the influential feudal, brother of Sindh’s minister for livestock and fisheries, had illegally occupied the historical lake Babli through force and the help of his armed men, and now they had built a dam around it. Through force and power they were snatching the livelihood of the poor.

The protesters also said that the PFF had gone to court over the illegal occupation of the Kun Purao Lake that covers 1,000 acres and is located in union council Ladiyoon of Shahbander Taluka, Sujawal district.The court, too, as a result of their petition had issued a notification against the occupation following which the landlord gave up his control over the lake.

They said they might be poor fisherfolk, but they knew how to demand, fight for and get their rights in a peaceful manner. Therefore, they announced a protest movement in the entire province of Sindh starting on Jan 10 and to continue till their demands would be met.

Published in Dawn, January 9th, 2018