Demolition of newspaper stalls across Karachi condemned
The Markazi Anjuman Akhbar Faroshan has condemned the civic agencies for the demolition of stalls of newspaper hawkers in Karachi as part of their ongoing anti-encroachment campaign under way across the metropolis.
The central association of newspaper hawkers and sellers held an emergency meeting on Saturday with Mohammad Iqbal Noon in chair. Representative leaders of newspaper hawkers said that some of the demolished newspaper stalls dated back to the pre-partition era.
They said MM Usmani, then city commissioner, on the orders of then Pakistan president Ziaul Haq had issued written permission to these stalls that are now being demolished during the anti-encroachment drive.
At that time a formal list of newspaper stalls established across Karachi had been prepared under the patronage of the association and the entire record of that is available at the office of the commissioner.
The leaders of newspaper hawkers said that subsequent commissioners had upheld that permission for newspaper stalls, while the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation also kept on extending the permission.
They said newspaper stalls are generally compact in size and display newspapers, magazines and periodicals that are published locally and nationally. They added that these stalls attract the educated, learned and responsible members of society who take keen interest in reading news and views, and that their presence presents a very healthy and productive feature of any society.
They said that the world over such newspaper stalls are set up on roadsides and at roundabouts in cities, adding that Karachi is not at all an exception to this because such stalls always facilitate readers.
The association in its emergency meeting appealed to the prime minister and the chief justice of Pakistan to issue directives to the authorities concerned that newspaper stalls across Karachi be no more deemed encroachments. They said the representative association of newspaper hawkers is willing to extend complete cooperation.
They expressed hope that the relevant top authorities in the country would urgently resolve their issue. Among others who attended the meeting were the association’s General Secretary Abdul Hameed Dada, Senior Vice-President Chaudhry Nazir, Shafique Bhai, Nasir Nisar, Mushtaq Memon, Master Sabir Rajput, Kamran Khan, office-bearers of the Saddar depot and newspaper hawkers.