Iqbal Town gone to the dogs, Christian Colony residents grumble


Rana Umair

There is a place in the federal capital which has no civic facilities from sewerage to street pavements, roads or gas as the town looks like a far-flung area of Southern Punjab or interior Sindh. The capital authorities have no time or motivation for requests from elected local councilor who belongs to an opposition party as well as a minority religious group.

The residents of Iqbal Town believe the major reason for the apathy of the Capital Development Authority (CDA) is that they have voted for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and the dwellers claim they are being punished for this crime.

Iqbal Town is located at highway having more than 20,000 inhabitants most of them belonging to a minority Christian community.

Pakistan Today spoke to Minority Councilor Irfan aka Shammoo who was elected on a PTI ticket. He said in Iqbal Town living circumstances are miserable and it’s hard to live here, but this town belongs to the poor and settlers do not have any option except living here. He further added, “I was elected councilor on the ticket of PTI, but I do not have funds to do something for my people.”

Tufail, a shopkeeper, said rain is a blessing but for the residents of Iqbal town it’s a curse. “After every heavy rain, water comes into homes and shops and cause heavy losses. One life was lost in last year’s rain, but authorities did not do anything for the settlers,” he said, and added, “That might be because this place belongs to Christians and Iqbal Town is also known as Christian Colony. Authorities do not care much for the minorities. From the past 16 years, people are living in the same miserable condition.”

Arshad, a resident, said many times dwellers organised protests and filed applications, but nothing happened and we are hopeless.

Minority councilor said: “I will write another application to authorities along with signatures of local dwellers so something could happen. If the settlers cannot come out from this miserable condition then at least settlers have a right to demand to live in less miserable condition”.

A relative of the deceased kid who died in last year’s monsoon rain said that whenever the monsoon season starts people get afraid. The community has lost one life last year and people are worried about their kids, he added. “I am hopeful that this monsoon will cause no loss of life in Iqbal town. I am Christian and God will save us,” he prayed.

CDA spokesperson told Pakistan today that Iqbal Town is a part of the rural zone and they are not sure about whose liability it is, but CDA is doing its best for the areas which are under their governing body.