A very urgent appeal was emailed by Zulfiqar Shah of Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research [PILER] to a number of mailing lists appealing for help in preventing the forcible eviction of over 10,000 flood affected IDP’s from their camp in Karachi… In my opinion there might seem to be an ulterior political motive to shove them out of Karachi – for the sake of Humanity this must stop – CAN YOU HELP – the message reads as follows,
This is an urgent appeal for your immediate intervention to save flood affected families from forcible eviction.
- About 10,000 flood affected people got settled at Labour Square camp in Gulshan- e- Maymar Karachi. This is a government recognized camp.
- Last week local revue official (Mukhtiarkar) made an announcement that people should evacuate camp within one week otherwise they will be forcibly evacuated by 5th October;
- This resulted in protest by affected people and smaller level scuffle between revenue officials, affected people etc;
- On last Sunday, Al- Khair Trust stopped supply of food and to our information many families are sleeping hungry. We can only bring 20 children to PILER centre for lunch today as they had not eaten for last two days. They aged 4 to 12 years;
- Food supply of the camp was initiated by Sylani Welfare Trust, run by liberal and moderate people but surprisingly this was replaced with Al Khair Trust, run by hard core religious people;
- Flood affected families with women, children were in fear, many of them without food for last two days but now worst has came in the shape of threat of eviction;
- By the time I write this mail ( 13: 50 PM / Tuesday 5th October), five to six police vehicles along with lady police have reached to camp and many of camp residents rushed to us crying that they are being forcibly evacuated. “My village Mirpur Buriro in District Jacobabad is still under water, please go and see; where we can go? Its cruelty to evict us” Says Muzafar, a young resident of camp.
It’s surprising that the government wants to evict these people. It’s equally surprising that this camp is not in a school that government want vacated to reopen school. This camp is in an empty building which was empty for last 3 years and there is no problem if it run additional 3 months.
Government had not given any indication of such an eviction initially. It has only came up with the idea a few days ago. It’s likely that these people will be forcibly evicted and this may result in another catastrophe for them.
Please intervene and do whatever you can do to stop this eviction.
Zulfiqar Shah, PILER
021 3 6351145-7