Gaddani: Fishing Village residents protest eviction notice

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Locals, political party leaders, and members gathered outside the Lasbela Press Club on Monday to protest against the Balochistan Tourism Department’s eviction notice for the ancient fishing village of Gaddani. The protesters raised slogans in support of their demands and called for an investigation into the allocation of the village’s land to the Tourism Department.

The ancient settlement of Gaddani, which predates the establishment of Pakistan, consists of schools, places of worship, sports fields, and markets. The protesters emphasized that the land rightfully belongs to the local fishermen, who have lived there for generations.

The protesters said that since the 18th Amendment, the Tourism Department has become a provincial subject and has done little to promote tourism in Gaddani. They stressed that the role of Gaddani’s fishermen in providing facilities to tourists should not be overlooked.

The protesters accused the Tourism Department of favoring contractor Mohammad Khan, who was previously responsible for the corruption-ridden, poorly constructed, and now-destroyed Gaddani Jetty. They alleged that the department is attempting to evict the local population to benefit the contractor, an action they vowed not to tolerate.

The protesters highlighted that during the settlement of hundreds of thousands of acres of land belonging to the indigenous tribes of Lasbela, large areas were allotted to the Forest Department and other government departments. Today, bureaucratic influences and powerful mafias are using this land for housing societies and other purposes, generating billions of rupees, while the local indigenous tribes lack housing.

The protesters said that similar efforts are now being made to evict and use this settlement in the same manner — they expressed their refusal to tolerate efforts to evict the locals from the fishing village of Gaddani, which has been inhabited since before the establishment of Pakistan. They warned that any attempt to bulldoze the settlement would be met with active resistance, as they refuse to allow the local population to be displaced from their ancestral lands.

Protesters said it is the responsibility of MNAs and MPAs to take notice of this issue. They urged the Tourism Department to develop Gaddani ‘s tourism without closing the doors of livelihood for the ancient fishing community. The protesters pointed out that neither the federal nor provincial governments are providing employment opportunities to the people of Gaddani. Fishermen in Gaddani earn their livelihood from the sea and contribute to the national economy, but instead of providing facilities, the federal and provincial governments are taking away their homes and livelihoods.


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