According to official sources, the Capital Development Authority has demolished over 300 slum houses and has evicted more than 2,000 individuals from their homes as their scheme to conduct a grand flattening of the area goes on. The plan is to, according to the civic agency booked by none other than ruling PML-N regime, bulldoze twelve similar slum vicinities which will subsequently cause the direct eviction of nearly 40,000 poor people. Critics point toward Islamabad’s history of creating class-specific dwelling areas where, for instance, a meager 248 small units have been spared for the impoverished class citizens in F-6 and F-7. Most citizens cannot imagine affording residence in the area where a 5-marla plot is sold at a gigantic 2.5 million rupees.

None of this is new. Katchi abadis have been the areas for economic opportunity for those hailing from the lower working class, primarily from rural areas where life is becoming increasingly nonviable. Thus, migration to urban centers - even if it does mean living in a slum - to food themselves and their families is only a matter of survival. Conveniently oblivious as the CDA is to this reality, the same stratum of society is responsible for the construction, sanitation and other forms of semi-skilled and un-skilled labor. In other words, it is on the back of poor men and women that these posh residential areas stand so proudly.

Whatever semblance of normalcy these families have is instantly destroyed when the CDA deprives them of the roofs over their heads. Therefore, it is the state’s responsibility to demarcate a plan for the safe resettlement for these families, many of them having children directly exposed to the violence of displacement. This is not limited to Islamabad’s katchi abadi alone but for every poor family under the ruthless scrutiny of capitalist development programs.