There are fourteen slums in Islamabad, mostly inhabited by the multi-ethnic Christian community. A large number of Christian workers are among those who keep the city clean, but the settlements are littered with garbage and sewage.
These slums located on the banks of dirty drains in many important areas of Islamabad have been built illegally on government land, but the Capital Development Authority (CDA), which is responsible for development affairs in the city, is not only silent about this but also He is also accused of providing covert support in the establishment and continuation of these settlements.
Venus Khanum, a Christian woman resident of one such slum in the city’s Sector G-Seven, told DW that rainwater in her settlement stagnates in drains, “which spreads dengue and other diseases.” “Rainwater and frequent floods become a bane of daily life,” says Venus Khanum, who has four children, who attend a local government school, where they face discrimination because of their social background. It also has to be faced.
Shehla Badar, a resident of Chiyasat quarter slum, told DW that all the children in her slum go to school, but later they wander around the very dirty and stinky slum all day long. Shehla Badr said, “We desperately need basic facilities such as electricity, water, means of transportation and clean but affordable housing, as well as schools, but we are not in a happy situation.”
Expressing his views, Imran Masih, a resident of Akram Masih-Igil Colony in Islamabad’s Sector H-Nine-2, told DW that everyone comes to his settlement to ask for votes, because according to the politicians, the votes of the residents of such settlements are important. are also very precious, “But are not we and our lives precious?” Like ordinary Pakistani citizens, we are not considered worthy of facilities and privileges. Are we not Pakistani or our rights are not equal to others?
When those who exemplify the beauty of Islamabad reach such slums of local Christians, instead of color and fragrance, they are greeted by stench and stench. Many residents of these settlements complained that the government circles do not see this deprivation and pollution in any way. The result is that governments keep changing but the fate of the poor in these settlements does not change.
Almost the same thing happened during the three-year rule of PTI. But Hameed Chaudhry, a former union councilor of the settlement called Chayasat Quarter, claimed in an interview with DW that if the PTI government had not changed, it could have changed the fate of the settlement. He said that the current mess has increased due to floods, otherwise the situation would have been a little better.
When DW was asked whether his children did not go to school like other children in the settlement, he proudly said that his children were studying in a private school and faced other problems in the settlement. Not even.
CDA director Saeed Akhtar Khan told DW that the problems of these slums are of a serious nature. According to him, CDA has set up slum cells, but it has neither the powers nor the budget to improve the condition of these slums. Residents of legal settlements are allotted three by three marla plots by CDA, which cannot be transferred to anyone else. Then they are allotted electricity meters along with letter from CDA.
According to Saeed Akhtar Khan, the conditions of these slums are also worrisome because some minority political leaders shift Christian families from Lahore, Gujranwala, Sialkot and other cities first and then forcefully recruit them in CDA. The whole process becomes a “very long vote game”.
Saeed Khan told DW that practical planning is about something that fits into a plan. But where there is no plan, what and how to plan? He said that this is the reason that the common settlements are becoming very densely populated and suffering from lack of resources. When he was asked why the slums of the cleaners in the whole city are stinking. So he said that the residents of the villages themselves are also to blame.
He said, “CDA sends vehicles daily to collect garbage, but since the streets of these settlements are very narrow, it is not possible for these vehicles to enter there.” The same people who keep the city clean do not take their garbage every day at least as far as the garbage truck reaches. In this way, there will be no increase in dirt.”
Christianity is the third largest religion in Pakistan. It has been a long time that the minorities in the country raised their voices for their rights, but not much was heard. The Christian minority in Pakistan constitutes about two percent of the country’s population. Surrounded by employment, health, education and other problems, the residents of these slums have a world of their own. A big thing in this world is the desire to eliminate the seemingly small problems of the people living there, small problems that cause huge negative effects.
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