The past few weeks in Karachi have seen an anti-encroachment drive that has affected livelihoods and living. Those spearheading the drive justify their actions, saying they are legal, and those using the spaces are painted as land grabbers. Meanwhile, another cause for concern is the intended clearing of land along the route of the moribund Karachi Circular Railways.
It was sadly ironic that on Dec 27, 2016, while the political leadership of Sindh was busy taking a dig at their political rivals, the Supreme Court’s Karachi Registry was constituting a judicial commission to investigate the poor state of drinking water in Pakistan’s largest city. The two-judge bench, headed by Justice Amir Hani Muslim, asked the Sindh High Court chief justice to nominate a serving high court judge to head the commission.
Urbanisation in Pakistan has been moving at a swift pace, albeit in a rudderless fashion. The Planning Commission estimates that half of our population shall be living in cities by 2030. Among other impacts, the approach and conduct of land governance shall drastically change for the worse, clear evidence of which is visible even today.