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Karachi

October 26, 2018
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Marchers demand withdrawal of decision to build reservoirs

Karachi

October 26, 2018

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Speakers at a protest march staged in Karachi on Thursday against the proposed construction of big dams on the Indus River demanded of the federal government to withdraw its decision.

The Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF), a fishermen rights body, organised the march, which started from District Thatta’s Karo Chan, an area near the Indus River that has been facing tidal flooding and a rise in sea level. The marchers — both men and women — reached the Governor House in Karachi on its 20th day and staged a sit-in for a few hours. The march, which was led by PFF chairman Muhammad Ali Shah, culminated peacefully there.

The speakers said that instead of adopting a procedure for reservoirs as described in the constitution, the Centre was trying to usurp Sindh’s internationally recognised right by launching a drive for big dams. They said any decision for building a dam on the river would be against three federating units — Sindh, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

PFF chief Shah said the government had adopted anti-environmental and anti-people policies by announcing the construction of big dams on the Indus, which would affect the livelihood and lives of the community living along the river. “It will cause large-scale evictions of the indigenous people from the areas.”

Sindhi nationalist leader Abdul Khaliq Junejo said: “The exercise would be futile without addressing the oldest Sindh-Punjab dispute over water, which had been lingering since 1859.”

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