Moot dismisses proposed construction of cities on twin islands

KARACHI: Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum wowed to guard rights of the indigenous fishermen and reject any construction over the sea islands.

This was announced by the PFF leadership during celebration of World Fisheries Day held on November 21 in Ibrahim Hyderi on with theme “Fisher people’s sovereignty on all marine islands” and “guard rights of the fisher people.” Hundreds of fishermen and women as well as civil society workers had gathered at Mir Jamot Jetty. Fishermen from Thatta, Sujawal, Badin, Jamshoro, Hyderabad and other districts also participated in the celebration.

During the celebration, a colourful cultural programme was also held, which included songs and tableaus where youth highlighted issues of the fishing people. The central program was held after one-week activities from November 16-21 throughout the province. The fishermen dismissed proposed construction of cities on twin islands.

Chairman PFF, Muhammad Ali Shah, said that the PFF would guard the rights of the fisher people and would not tolerate any decision against indigenous fisher folks. He said the World Fisheries Day is celebrated every year on November 21 throughout the world by the fisher folk communities. From its inception in 1998, Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum has been celebrating and observing this event every year.

He said around 3.0 million fishermen in Sindh and Balochistan depend on marine fishing, mostly in creeks while the government has decided to develop islands and construct cities that would close paths of fishermen and deprive them of livelihood.

He said the federal government has constituted Pakistan Islands Development Authority (PIDA) to construct the city on twin islands of Bhundar (Bundal) and Dingi without any consultation with the Sindh government, as the area falls under the provincial jurisdiction.

“Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum is protesting against such decision and is celebrating this World Fisheries Day by protesting the construction of cities over islands, as they are places for fishing and mangrove forests,” he said. “Federal government’s such action is not only against the Constitution of Pakistan but it is also against international conventions and agreements, which provide social, economic and cultural sovereignty to the indigenous people.”

He said Pakistan has a coastal belt of over 1,050 kilometers and there are 300 small and big islands located in Sindh coast only that would be taken into control by the federal government. - PPI