Islands deal with American entrepreneurs opposed

HYDERABAD, March 12: Sindhi nationalist leaders have condemned the government for signing a deal involving two islands with some American entrepreneurs.

In their separate statements, Ayaz Latif Palejo of the Qomi Awami Tehreek (QAT) and Dr Qadir Magsi of the Sindh Taraqqi-pasand Party (STP) vowed to resist all moves aimed at giving away Sindh’s islands to foreign entrepreneurs.

Mr Palejo condemning the deal for investment with some American entrepreneurs said that PPP government had auctioned Sindh’s resources. Speaking at a meeting of his party’s election committee on Tuesday, he termed the plan to hand over Dingi and Bhindar island to US businessman “an attack on Sindh’s integrity”.

“If the government intends to create another Pataya or Manila along the coastline of the country, the masses will not let it happen. The PPP government through its representative, Malik Riaz, has bargained over Sindh’s islands for the sake of commission, to the tune of billions of dollars,” he claimed.

He alleged that Malik Riaz had gifted a palace to the president in Lahore and in lieu of that these islands were being given to the property tycoon to bring in and settle foreigners on the islands.

He said that through the 18th amendment, the PPP government had given away Sindh’s natural resources including oil, coal and gas to the federation.The government did not open a new university or a big hospital, nor did it establish an industrial zone for jobless youth, he said, adding that during the Musharraf-led regime, a conspiracy was hatched to hand over both the islands to foreign investors but then government rescinded its decision due to resistance posed by the masses in Sindh.

“The people of Sindh will continue to resist such plans again as they had been doing it in the past,” he said.

STP chairman Dr Qadir Magsi also condemned the deal on islands, saying that the inhabitants of historic islands of Sindh would never allow government to sell their abodes. In his statement issued here Tuesday, he said that the PPP government was planning to establish new cities to settle outsiders in Sindh. After Zulfikarabad project, another conspiracy was being hatched to create more cities in the province, he added.

He warned that the people of Sindh would protect every inch of their motherland. If attempts were made to hand over the islands to foreign entrepreneurs, a protests movement would be launched across Sindh, he said. He alleged that the government was selling away the island for commissions.