Landlords threatening fishermen | Pakistan Today

Landlords threatening fishermen

Certain influential and powerful feudal lords, who encroached the lands of waterways, buffer zones and wetlands in Sindh, have not only resulted in historic devastation during the last monsoon floods in the southern Sindh but also deprived the indigenous fishermen of the right to their catch.
This was stated by Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF) Chairman Mohammed Ali Shah, who was leading a protest rally staged by fishermen, in the Naukot town on Thursday against influential landlords, who have encroached upon the Puran Dhoro – a natural waterway.
About 175 families, depending on Puran Dhoro, for their livelihood are forced to stay away from the water.
The fisherfolk once led a struggle against Pakistan Rangers, who had taken control of 20 major water bodies, succeeding to get the waters free in 2005. Since then, they were enjoying freedom to catch and a better source of living but when the recent floods brought prosperity with more fish after a long time, the landlords pushed back the already neglected fishermen.
Shah arrived at the protest camp and assured the fisherfolk of his full support, demanding the government to implement the law and ensure protection of life and livelihood of poor fishermen.
Mithan Mallah from Badin said that despite the Sindh Assembly abolishing contract system on fishing at freshwater bodies, landlords are creating a law and order situation in different districts, including Umerkot, Mirpurkhas, Tharparkar, Badin, Sanghar and Nawabshah.
“We have visited residences of elected representatives, sent applications to higher authorities to protect our rights but in vain,” he said. “In retaliation, we have come out, mobilising the community people to stage a protest against their atrocities.”
A large number of community people come daily from different areas to express solidarity with the protestors.
Puran Dhoro is an old river, streaming down from Punjab to the Rann of Kuch.
The landlords have reportedly encroached on the stream and developed infrastructure. The experts have warned the government to demolish all encroachments of the drainage to ensure smooth flow of rainwater.

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