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Islamabad razes Afghans’ homes, arrest dwellers under anti-terrorism act

AT-KABUL: Islamabad’s capital city administration, has declared war on Afghan and Pashtuns by demolishing their homes using heavy machinery and brutal police force.

The Capital Development Authority (CDA), Islamabad’s administration, bulldozed around 300 houses in Sector I-11 and arrested the homeless protestors under the anti-terrorism law to suppress their voice.

The city’s administration, backed by heavy contingent of police, demolished the homes, terming the construction illegal. Police was seen dragging elderly women and men in the slums inhabited by displaced Afghan-Pashtuns—refugees from Afghanistan and IDPs from FATA.

Tribal people built homes 10 years ago in the federal capital after they were forced to leave their native areas as result of military operations launched by Pakistani security forces. Long curfew on daily basis also impelled the tribal people to settle in Islamabad.

Though, the administration removed the slum settlements but the government has no compensation or rehabilitation plan for the homeless people.

Adding to the injury, most of the Pashtun nationalist leaders have adopted passive approach rather than condemning the act despite having representation in the parliament.

Senior leader of the Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party, Senator Usman Kakar, said that Pashtuns give votes to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Muslim League and Jamiat Ulema Islam (JUI) but ask Pashtun nationalists to protect their rights.

Talking to Radio Mashaal about role of nationalist parties in protection of Pashtuns’ rights, he said the capital city’s administration act is based on injustice.

Likewise, senior leader of the Awami National Party, Afrasiab Khattak, said that his party formed a delegation to discuss the issue with the federal government and would also raise the issue in and outside the parliament. He said that his party would continue to fight against this injustice.

  1. Nadeem Alizai, an analyst, said that Pashtuns living in the slums were called “supporters of terrorists” despite the fact that they left their native towns in the tribal belt due to terrorism.

Talking to Afghanistan Times via telephone, he said that former administrator of the Lal Masjid, Abdul Aziz, is openly supporting terrorists and living in Islamabad, but the federal government did not want to take any action against him. “Pashtuns are homeless because they are powerless. It is a political and ideological issue rather than legal. If it was legal issue then Nawaz Sharif should have jailed Imran Khan and his supporters who attacked the parliament and occupied Islamabad for months,” he said.

Regarding role of Pashtun leaders, he said the nationalist parties are only concerned about power. “Look at the so-called leaders. They are coalition partners of Nawaz Sharif but did not prevented Islamabad’s administration from demolishing homes of Pashtuns. They use catchy slogans only,” he commented.

When asked about solution to the problem, Alizai said that Pashtuns are not only geographically divided but ideologically as well because some were following “extremist-religious” parties and some were neo-nationalists and most pro-establishment.

“We cannot address the all existing challenges until we are united. The enemies are dividing us further on different issues such as Kalabagh Dam and demolishing of slums in Islamabad,” he opined.

He said the Afghan government should also jump in as Afghan refugees were also living there. Alizai said that demolishing of the refugees homes is against the international laws, adding that it is duty of the host state to provide shelter to the refugees.

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