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Land Grabs in Pakistan

Gentrification is the process by which a neighborhood, typically in a city, is altered by the influx of wealthier residents and businesses, resulting in the displacement of lower-income residents and the alteration of the neighborhood's character and culture. Gentrification has been observed in many cities worldwide, including Pakistan, where it has been fueled by a variety of factors such as urbanization, economic growth, and changes in social and demographic patterns.

Gentrification in Pakistan has been fueled by the country's rapid urbanization, which has resulted in an increase in demand for housing and commercial space in urban areas. This has resulted in new housing and commercial projects, including high-rise buildings, shopping malls, and gated communities. These developments have primarily benefited the upper and upper-middle classes, displacing lower-income residents who cannot afford the higher costs associated with these new developments.

The development of high-end housing societies in Lahore and Karachi, which are built on prime land and targeted at the upper and upper-middle classes, is one example of gentrification in Pakistan. The growth of these societies has resulted in the displacement of lower-income residents, who are frequently forced to relocate to informal settlements on the outskirts of cities.

The development of shopping malls and high-end commercial spaces in urban areas is another example of gentrification in Pakistan. These developments are aimed at the upper and upper-middle classes. They have displaced small businesses and street vendors who cannot compete with the new developments' higher prices and better facilities.

Gentrification has also been fueled by those in positions of power and those with the financial means to acquire land and property. They use their wealth and power to acquire land and property in cities, often at the expense of low-income residents and small businesses. One notorious figure in that regard is Malik Riaz, the owner of Bahria Town, who was just a contractor but became a billionaire behind his exploitative business venture of creating large-scale gated housing societies in metropolises throughout Pakistan. As a result, wealth and power are concentrated in the hands of a small elite, and lower-income residents and small businesses are displaced.

In summary, urbanization, economic growth, and social and demographic changes have contributed to gentrification in Pakistan. Lower-income residents have been displaced, and the area's character and culture have been altered significantly as a result of the process. Those already rich have become richer on the back of gentrification, while the lower-income residents have been displaced, thrown out of their own houses, and dispossessed of their land and means.

  1. Land grabbing in Sindh: Large-scale land grabbing has been reported in the Sindh province, particularly in the districts of Tharparkar, Umerkot, and Sanghar. The powerful landlords and politicians are accused of grabbing the land of poor farmers and locals, often with the support of local administration.

  2. Land grabbing in Balochistan: Balochistan has been facing a similar problem of land grabbing by powerful individuals, including politicians and military officials. The land grabbing has been reported from Quetta, Gwadar, and other districts of the province.

  3. Land grabbing in Punjab: Land grabbing is also reported to be a major issue in Punjab, particularly in Lahore, Faisalabad, and Rawalpindi. The land is often grabbed by powerful individuals and used for commercial and residential developments, leading to the displacement of local communities.

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