Bilquis Edhi, the wife of eminent social worker Abdul Sattar Edhi, on Wednesday claimed that Edhi welfare centres in several cities and towns of Sindh have been illegally occupied by “influential local figures”.
Addressing a press conference in Karachi, she requested the Sindh and the federal government to order the “land mafia” to vacate the properties of Edhi foundation.
She also requested the Balochistan government to step in, as an Edhi centre in Hub was also reportedly occupied.
Bilquis Edhi and her son Faisal Edhi alleged that the land mafia enjoyed the patronage of certain political parties.
They said that the “anti-humanity elements” were demolishing the welfare foundation’s properties to build shops and centres for commercial activities. The centres that had been serving humanity for the past three decades are being demolished, the Edhis maintained.
They said the land for these centres had been allotted to the Edhi Foundation by the National Highway Authority (NHA).
“NHA awarded these properties to Edhi Foundation to set up these centres on 200 square metre wide belts of land on both sides of the highways. These belts are the property of the highway authority,” they explained.
The most recent occupation was of an Edhi Welfare centre in Thatta, that had been functioning since 1985, Edhi said.
A tearful Bilquis Edhi lamented that authorities have not taken any action against the people who were “targeting the Edhi Foundation”.
She also expressed concern for Edhi ambulances and workers who, she said, had no protection and were vulnerable to attacks by “evil forces”.