Nazir Ahmed Kubar
The (PIDA) is a Pakistan islands development authority .A few days ago it came to light that on 31st August president Arif Alvi , keeping parliament out of loop had promulgated PIDA ordinance whose first schedule specifically mentions “ Budoo and Bundal locally known as ‘Dingi and Bundhar’ islands. The twin islands comprises of about 12000 acres of land lying of the Karachi coastline ,are now subjects of heated back-and-forth between the federal and sindh government. The aim of center is to build a green city on twin islands of Karachi for the purpose of tourism , depleting population burden from Karachi and many other benefits as told by federal ministers. Prior to this same idea was dreamt in 2006 and 2013 but fortunately all efforts gone in vain . Under the constitution of 1973 of Pakistan amended by the 18th amendment of constitution, the islands are basically property of sindh government as par article ( 172) and (142) of constitution that deals with the ownership of property and powers of federation respectively. It seems that since the PTI has took over federation , they had shown anti provincialism vision or they are trying to abolish 18th amendment in order to enhance military and federal powers. This is not only matter of PPP and PTI but center is questionable to the people of Sindh and Balochistan on this illegal , unconstitutional ordinance promulgated secretly without ensuring provincial cabinets or public . No sane person will oppose the development of islands or the construction of new cities to release the population pressure on Karachi . But then housing scheme conceived , planned and constructed should be affordable for middle class . The ruthless development at cost of people benefitting the elites; causing deforestation ,ecological degradation ,polluting the sea and rendering the fishing community of 0.8 million jobless is too painful to be supported. Simply this land grabbing is unacceptable to the people of Sindh; to make it clear people have responded highly to calls for protest by comparatively smaller political parties ,civil society , human rights organizations and fisher community to display their anger and anguish against the takeover of Bundhal and Buddo islands by federal government. On other hand earlier on this issue PPP seemed unclear , but they gave rest to rumours by passing a bill from provincial assembly against illegal PIDA ordinance .Mean while people have also been hindrance in the path of federal government; the PIDA case is landed in court ,a petitioner has challenged the takeover of twin islands in SHC. Thus on Thursday a two member bench of SHC heard the petition and issued the notices to federal and provincial governments to file their replies by 23rd October . This all is an example of public reaction to center. More ever the people of Sindh will put their heroic resistance to save their lands. As PFF chairperson uttered “ we have protected Dingi and Bundhar in past and we are ready to fight again. According to him the twin islands are foundation of Pakistan fishing industry and ,if still federal tries to build city here , they will build city over here not upon island but on deadbodies. Thus the constitution as well as the public of state rejects the gloomy picture of government’s vision they had displayed in recent past.
(-The writer is a freelance columnist, based in Thari Mirwah.)