Benazir demands Rangers leave fishing areas
ISLAMABAD: Benazir Bhutto, former prime minister and Pakistan People’s Party chairperson, has supported the fishermen’s demand for the withdrawal of Thar Rangers from the fishing areas of Badin district to end allegations of atrocities committed against the fishermen in the coastal areas.
In a statement on Sunday, she called for separating law and order institutions from commercial activities, which blurred their role in society and brought them into clash with local communities.
Ms Bhutto demanded the cancellation of the contract system introduced by the para military rangers and the transfer of the coastal area fishing lakes and grounds to the local fishing communities that historically farmed them.
She said that her party was committed to provincial autonomy as envisaged and sacrificed by Quaid-e-Azam. She said that under the Constitution, fishing rights was a provincial subject and fishing belonged to the fisherman rather than to the centre.
Ms Bhutto called for a judicial inquiry into the widespread media reports of physical attacks by para military forces on the villagers of Badin and coastal areas as well as the unconstitutional raids on their homes for commercial purposes.
She said the PPP called for a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to demonstrate how investigative agencies, starting with the National Accountability Bureau down to the grass roots, often perverted the course of justice by fabricating false cases for political or commercial reasons.
She said that the report of the filing of false FIRs against the villagers whose homes had been raided and who were victims reminded her of how she and her family, a victim of the murder of her brother Murtaza Bhutto, found that instead of his murder being investigated, the murderers were turning their guns on the family. She added that such judicial abuse must stop “if we as a society are to move ahead in a civilised manner”. nni