Bilquis and Faisal Edhi fearful over Edhi Centre shutdown, allege land grabbing

ISLAMABAD: Sindh Home Minister Suhail Anwar Siyal on Thursday took notice of the Edhi Foundation Thatta centre being shut down over a property dispute.

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He directed the Sindh home secretary to call for a report from Inspector General of Police (IGP) A.D. Khwaja seeking an explanation as to why the centre has been sealed with the help of Thatta police.

A day earlier, Bilquis and Faisal Edhi — the wife and son of eminent social worker Abdul Sattar Edhi — alleged that the Edhi welfare centres in several cities and towns of Sindh have been illegally occupied by influential local figures.

Faisal said that the Thatta welfare centre, spread over an area of 1,000 square yards, has been locked by the local administration on a court’s order in a property dispute with a private person.

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

Faisal, who is running the Edhi Foundation along with his mother after his father’s demise, claimed that the district administration had closed the centre to cover up its encroachment by a group having support of the police.

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

He said the charity had been allotted the piece of land in 1985 by the National Highway Authority and that he was in possession of an allotment letter to prove the same.

A tearful Bilquis had lamented that authorities have not taken any action against the people who were targeting the Edhi Foundation. She had also expressed concern for Edhi ambulances and workers who, she said, had no protection and were vulnerable to attacks by evil forces.

Faisal 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 the foundation’s welfare centres in Latifabad (Hyderabad), a 3,000 sq yd plot in Moro, Qazi Ahmed, Sehwan, Larkana, Hala and Hub Chowki.

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

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