Federal occupation' of twin islands -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Federal occupation’ of twin islands

KARACHI: Sindh’s nationalist and democratic parties have appealed to the people of the province to observe a complete shutter-down strike on January 10 (Wednesday) to record their protest against the “federal occupation” of Sindh’s twin islands – Bundal (Bhundhar) and Buddo (Dingi). A consultative meeting of various parties, called by Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF) at Sachal Hall, Ibrahim Hyderi, on Saturday afternoon, resolved to launch a joint political struggle to save these islands. Representatives of Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz), Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaaf, Awami Tehreek, National Workers Party, Jeay Sindh Mahaz, Sindh National Front, Sindh National Party, Sindh National Congress, Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz (JSQM), Sindh Taraqi Pasand Party (STP) and Jeay Sindh Qaumparast Party participated in the meeting.

In a joint statement issued after the meeting, these parties appealed to the people to observe province-wide strike on Jan 10 to say “no” to “federal occupation” of Sindh’s twin islands and other resources. They also called upon their workers to show full strength on the day. It was agreed that the heads of political parties would visit the twin islands on January 20, besides participating in a walk against the construction of new city at the same place. Participants warned the Dubai-based company Emmar, which has undertaken the development work of the new city on the twin islands, that it should not indulge itself in this controversial project, “as it would prove nothing but a loss to its investment”.

Speaking on the occasion, Chairperson PFF Mohammad Ali Shah said that until Sindh’s political parties come into action, the fishermen could not save the islands alone. Soon after forced migration of fishermen from the twin islands, the fishermen had been barred from fishing and cleaning their nets near these islands, he added. Shah said that the people of Sindh were protesting against the construction of Kalabagh dam, whereas the rulers were threatening them by announcing to construct more dams on Indus. Saleem Zia of PML (N), supporting the strike call, alleged that the occupation of twin islands was part of a long-term conspiracy to convert Sindhis into a minority. He cited examples of partition of Hyderabad Division and removal of Sindhi villages from Karachi.

Zia warned the regime to stop oppressing the people as there has already been too much killings in Waziristan and Balochistan. Haji Shafi Mohammad Jamote, Director Fishermen Cooperative Society (FCS), denied the allegations that his brother was involved in a contract to initiate work on the twin islands. He said none from his family was involved in any kind of contract with the government, adding that such stories were an attempt to sabotage the struggle of the fishermen. Last year, the federal government allowed Emmar through a memorandum of understanding to develop “Diamond Bar Island City” on the twin islands. The company has pledged to invest $43 billion on the project.

Source: The News

Date:1/7/2007