KARACHI: The civil society of Karachi along with Sahd foundation staged a protest at Icon Towers Clifton against the atrocities of Bahria Town. We have been living there since before the birth of Pakistan and are the biggest victims, said one of the protesters. Although we face many difficulties in our day-to day life, we are satisfied with what we have. How can they ask us to leave our ancestral homes? Rather than providing facilities to us they are grabbing all of our properties. This is our ancestral place- how can we leave it? At least eighty to ninety homes have been leveled to the ground in Kathore while poultry farms and other sources of income for the poor have also been bulldozed. The Police opened fire on the peaceful citizens who tried to save their assets and FIRs have been lodged against them. “Around 50-60 bullets were fired on the villagers who are too simple to even ask for help. We are living in an atmosphere just like Palestine and Kashmir; helpless and hopeless.” Media should go on the spot to help the local residents rather than taking interviews here. “Malik Riaz has bought all media channels and newspapers”, the participants alleged. Only 20 percent of the people whose land has been encroached are happy because they have received a sound amount of money. The rest continue to be victimised. Civil Society activist, Dr. Hafeez Jamali said that thousands of people have been made homeless to settle the rich-elite. They are making posh flats and bungalows which are not accessible to the poor. This is not only an issue for the local residents but for all of Karachi’s residents because such huge projects will consume most of the water and the electricity in the city. Naghma Iqtadar, another social activist, said that huge projects like Bahria town are ‘atomic bombs’ for the poor people. Sindh’s weakness lies in its feudal lords willing to do anything to remain powerful. “But we the middle class and the poor must struggle against such elements. Your land is your ‘mother’. Do not let go of it so easily. Guard it with your life”. Published in Daily Times, June 20th, 2017.