Mar 12, 2007

Sindh: Parties Join to Fight Exploitation

Civil and political activists resolved to join forces and save Sindh’s natural resources, including land, minerals and water, from further exploitation and demand the withdrawal of plans to sell two islands vital to local fisherman.

Below is an excerpt from an article published by The News International:

Speakers at a consultative meeting on Saturday [10 March 2007] resolved to wage a joint struggle to save Sindh's natural resources, including land, mineral and water, and demanded withdrawal of the decision of selling twin islands near Karachi.

Prominent people of the civil society and political parties came hard on the present rulers and denounced policies towards Sindh and announced to hold all-party conference (APC) in Karachi, likely on April 7.

The consultative meeting was organised by the Pakistan Mahigeer Tehrik (PMT) and Shirkat Gah at the office of SPO in Qasimabad with the theme "saving our natural resources for ourselves".

Speakers said the sale of twin islands was basically a continuation of plundering of the natural resources of Sindh and a united struggle should be launched, involving all political parties.

Sindh Tarraqi Passand Party (STPP) chairman Dr Qadir Magsi said everybody should play its due role and support the work of civil society in raising awareness about twin islands' sale and its repercussions on the overall economy of Sindh, especially on fishermen.

He said our resources were being occupied and called for improving political directions, adding it is the duty of politicians to safeguard islands and other resources of the motherland. […]

Awami Tehrik chief Rasool Bux Palejo on the occasion said things have to be looked with holistic approach and suggested massive rallies and sit-ins along with protests against the sale of twin islands.

He rejected awareness without struggle and asked political parties to become united against those hatching conspiracies to plunder the natural resources of Sindh.

Abrar Kazi of the Sindh Democratic Forum (SDF) said his organisation would file a case against the sale of twin islands and has already taken up the issue with the international donor agencies and embassies were also being informed about the concerns of Sindh.

Zulfiqar Halepoto said political parties should come up with development agenda.

Zubeda Birwani, convener of the PMT, said consultation meetings have been arranged to have a collective opinion on the issue of sale of twin islands and added lives of millions of fishermen are at stake.

She said we have to come out to protest against the injustice and in order to safeguard our natural resources.

Nasir Memon, Agha Shahbuddin, Professor Ejaz Qureshi, Arab Mallah, Jami Chandio and others also spoke on the occasion.

A documentary was also shown at the outset of the meeting about fishermen and hazards of twin island sale.