Islamabad: Demolition of slums postponed by Supreme Court of Pakistan

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Supreme Court of Pakistan

Supreme Court of Pakistan postpones CDA’s drive to demolish slums in Islamabad.

According to details, the Supreme Court of Pakistan has ordered the demolition of Christian populated slums to be suspended. These slums which have been largely inhabited by Christians have been facing demolition from CDA.

Previously in August, the Awami Workers Party (AWP) had submitted a petition in the Supreme Court of Pakistan against the demolition of slums carried out by Islamabad’s Capital Development Authority (CDA). The Awami Workers Party in its petition challenged CDA’s plan to demolish slums home to a large population of Christians.

Awami Workers Party in a press conference shortly after filing the petition, stated that AWP had “called for an immediate halt to the ongoing eviction drive of the CDA in Islamabad, an immediate resettlement of all the former residents of the demolished I-11 katchi abadi [slum] and demanded that those who carried out the violent, brutal and unlawful operation in I-11 be brought to justice.”

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Last week the Supreme Court had issued a stay order and directed CDA to halt the demolition of the slums. It has been since last year that CDA has started targeting these slums in the capital. Prior to issuing the stay order, the Supreme Court had ordered CDA to submit a written reply explaining the reason to demolish the slums.

CDA’s reply read: “Most of these katchi abadies [slums] are under the occupation of the Christian community. It seems this pace of occupation of land by Christian community may increase. Removal of katchi abadies is very urgent to provide [a] better environment to the citizen[s] of Islamabad and to protect the beauty of Islam.”

CDA’s response sparked widespread indignation and outrage amongst the Christians along with religious minorities groups. The secretary of Awami Workers Party, Ammar Rashid, while remarking about CDA’s bigoted statement said, “The CDA’s reply is proof of the deeply prejudicial mindset that prevails in the CDA with regard to working classes and minorities, whom they regard with utter contempt.”