KARACHI: Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF) on Wednesday announced to stage hunger strike from August 8 to August 14 — the Day of Independence — with the community women and children outside Karachi Press Club in protest against what they called indifferent attitude of the government authorities, which have imposed section 144 on beaches, stopping fishermen not to go there, depriving them of their source of income.
It was decided in a hurriedly called meeting chaired by PFF chairperson Mohammed Ali Shah. It expressed solidarity with the community people facing acute poverty and joblessness. The meeting demanded to give immunity to fishermen, as they depend on fish catch from the shallow waters along the beaches.
PFF General Secretary Saeed Baloch, Tahira Ali, Majeed Motani, Talib Kuchhi, Hussain Dhorai and others asked the gathering to mobilize the community workforce for the common demand for the restoration of the source of incomes.
The community elders shared how their forefathers had been involved in the development of the port city of Karachi and now in the return of that they are being forced to leave ancestral abodes. They named developed areas in the city, which were built on the fishermen localities after forcing them to leave.
They said they would not withdraw their demand to restore their traditional source of income and ensure protection to their lives and sources of livelihoods.
These workers usually go to beaches from neighbouring localities on bicycles and use smaller fishing nets to catch fish and earn little amount daily for their families survival. The meeting was informed that Commissioner Karachi has already taken notice of this action and issued orders of giving exemption to fishermen, but the law enforcing agencies personnel refuse to obey the orders and stopping fishermen from going to beaches.
The government authorities have imposed ban on going to beaches and coastlines of Karachi after the horrible incident that occurred on the occasions of Eidul Fitr in which 40 picnickers were drowned at the Sea View area. The authorities took a bid for safeguarding the picnickers, but the community people are taking it differently, because there is no way out for the community workforce, which depends on the fishing.
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