Evictions from E12, Islamabad and Ghareebabad, Karachi recently made it to the news. It has been a terrible situation for the people who had found shelter in these empty spaces which are now being cleared by the authorities. In many cases, reported the media, these people were not even served notices before the eviction drive. While it is true that the government needs to make sure that its land remains clear of the encroachers and land mafia, we must not forget that it is also the duty of the state to ensure the provision of food, clothing and shelter to the citizens. The incumbent government has also initiated a shelter home project for the homeless and the prime minister had announced it amid much fanfare earlier this year. However, these people being rendered homeless without being provided with an alternate space for living negates government’s own policy. Some of the structures demolished in E12, Islamabad were housing internally displaced persons from the war torn tribal areas. They were trying to rebuild their lives pivoting them on these small wooden structures. Now they’ve been deprived of these shelters too.
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