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Edhi Foundation’s centre in Thatta sealed over property dispute

Edhi Foundation’s centre in Thatta sealed over property dispute

KARACHI: The Edhi Foundation, the country’s top charity, announced on Wednesday that the local administration had shut its Thatta centre on the orders of a local court.

It said it could opt for suspending its services in the rural districts of Sindh as the “mafias” were continuously encroaching upon its lands and establishments with impunity.

Speaking at a press conference at the Karachi Press Club, Faisal Edhi, the head of the Edhi Foundation, said that the charity’s Thatta centre had been closed.

Faisal Edhi says ‘mafias’ continuously encroaching upon its land and establishments

“The wireless and everything else which the centre was using for its voluntary services has been sealed,” he said, accompanied by his mother, Bilquis Edhi.

They said that the land mafia and district administrations, including the police, were hands in glove in stopping the foundation from delivering humanitarian services across the province.

Son of the country’s great humanitarian late Abdul Sattar Edhi, Faisal said the Thatta welfare centre, spread over an area of 1,000 square yards, had been locked by the local administration upon a court’s order in a property dispute with a private person.

He claimed that the district administration had closed the centre to cover up the encroachment of the centre by a group having support of the police.

He urged the prime minister and Sindh chief minister to take notice of the situation, as the local people would suffer from the closure of services provided by the charity in Thatta district.

He claimed that the charity had been allotted that piece of land in 1985 by the National Highway Authority and he had an allotment letter. He said those who moved court for possession of the land had shown documents of a later year.

“Some people have come up with documents made in 1994, after the Edhi centre plot was included in a land survey following the expansion of the city,” he said.

Besides, he added, the foundation had lost many properties in various districts.

He counted several properties owned by the charity, which had already been encroached upon and commercialised by the land mafia. “Many Edhi centres in Sindh are being encroached upon by mafias in cahoots with the local administration which is issuing them fake documents.”

These properties, he said, included its welfare centres in Latifabad (Hyderabad), 3,000 sq-yd plot in Moro, Qazi Ahmed, Sehwan, Larkana, Hala and Hub Chowki.

He said such unending acts were forcing them to limit their services in the regions where people needed them the most.

He said the ambulance service was still operational in Thatta but the headquarters was unable to contact its employees after the closure of the centre.

Faisal Edhi said Thatta was the first city other than Karachi where late Edhi had launched his services in 1980.

He said he had taken his case to the court of the people.

Published in Dawn, October 26th, 2017

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