Hala needs at­ten­tion

Pakistan Observer - - OPINION - SHAHZAD ALI SHAH

Nabi Bux Kori, 40, a ma­son, liv­ing in Ajan Shah Vil­lage near Hala town, said that the law and or­der sit­u­a­tion in the area has de­te­ri­o­rated. It is not safe to travel af­ter 6 pm in the evening to the Hala city ar­eas or even in other vil­lages. Kid­nap­ping for ran­som and snatch­ing of valu­ables is a com­mon prac­tice in their area, which has in­creased the level of fear and stress among vil­lagers. They are al­ways in the grip of fear of kid­nap­ping, say­ing that they had never faced such prob­lems in the past. The civic in­fra­struc­ture and roads con­di­tions are abysmal and un­safe to travel. Ali Has­san Kokhar a 35 year old labourer liv­ing in a sub­urb area in Shadi Khokhar about 20 km away from Hala said that they have been liv­ing there since many decades but there is no de­vel­op­ment by any gov­ern­ment. They are still liv­ing with­out ba­sic fa­cil­i­ties like safe drink­ing wa­ter, gas and roads.

Since many decades, the peo­ple of Hala and its sur­round­ing ar­eas have been cast­ing votes in all the gen­eral elec­tions for Makhd­doom fam­ily, mainly con­test­ing elec­tions on the tick­ets of Pak­istan Peo­ples Party. But af­ter the elec­tions, the elected rep­re­sen­ta­tives do not even bother about the de­te­ri­o­rat­ing con­di­tions of ed­u­ca­tional fa­cil­i­ties in their ar­eas. Si­mul­ta­ne­ously the law and or­der sit­u­a­tion in the area is ter­ri­ble. Po­lice is not will­ing to elim­i­nate this law­less­ness. Hala, a his­toric city of South­ern Sindh, is a lead­ing cen­tre of the Suhrawardi fam­ily of Su­fism from the 16th cen­tury on­wards. There was a time when many pil­grims were at­tracted to Hala to learn gen­tler Is­lam. Su­fis worked to build bridges of in­ter-racial, in­ter-eth­nic and cross­cul­tural un­der­stand­ing for years.

Su­fis of Hala, used to take care of the ba­sic needs of the com­mon peo­ple and were do­ing so­cial work to fa­cil­i­tate their fol­low­ers. It was through in­sti­tu­tions de­signed not only to serve the des­ti­tute, the home­less and the ill, but whose over­all pur­pose was to re­di­rect the so­ci­ety as a whole to the goal of up­lift­ing the peo­ple spir­i­tu­ally, psy­cho­log­i­cally, morally and phys­i­cally. Old gen­er­a­tions of mod­ern Hala seems tak­ing pride in their land and its his­tory but is wor­ried about cur­rent dis­or­ders.

The cur­rent sit­u­a­tion of the city is pa­thetic. Peace­ful Hala has now turned into a roar­ing busi­ness cen­tre. Hus­tle and bus­tles of Chingchi rick­shaws, crowd of ven­dors and green gro­cers has taken away all the beauty of the city. The Taluka Mu­nic­i­pal Ad­min­is­tra­tion and dis­tricts gov­ern­ment in­sti­tutes are tak­ing no in­ter­est in tack­ling th­ese se­ri­ous ur­ban is­sues.

Mir Muham­mad Babar, 40, liv­ing in a vil­lage Van­jheri Sharif said that they have no ac­cess to their rep­re­sen­ta­tives to record protest. There is no gas; many times con­trac­tors vis­ited for gas but process have not been ini­ti­ated yet. For around 500 homes vil­lage, there is no med­i­cal fa­cil­ity for the com­mon peo­ple. In emer­gency sit­u­a­tion peo­ple have to travel to the city ar­eas for treat­ment, which is costly too, he said. — Via email

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