Karachi Anti-Encroachment Drive: Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) has issued a 3-day deadline to demolish the shops in Urdu Bazaar as part of the anti-encroachment drive.

The announcement has triggered protests from a large number of Urdu Bazar merchants and shops vendors.

Famous for all kinds of books, stationery items, and various other study related material, Urdu Bazaar is one of the famous markets in Karachi.

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KMC officials have issued a notice to the shop owners of Urdu Bazaar as it is located over a drain.

According to The News International, the protest arose at 4 pm when the local shopkeepers and booksellers gathered in the iconic book bazaar of Karachi, holding banners stating “Stop economic murders of booksellers”.

Through an open letter, the merchants have also appealed to the President of Pakistan, Dr. Arif, Chief Justice of Pakistan Saqib Nisar, Governor Imran Ismail, and Mayor Wasim Akhtar to stop the famous Urdu Bazaar of Karachi from demolition.

They stated that a notice was issued to them by KMC to vacate the offices and shops in Urdu Bazaar Market on Sunday. They have been given a 3-day deadline which ends on Tuesday midnight after which the anti-encroachment operation will begin in the area.

Muhammad Aslam, Secretary General of Urdu Bazaar Market Association said:

“The announcement has given rise to concerns and agony among the academia, the literary circles and all those who are associated with the business of publication and sale of books, notebooks and other study material”.

He added that Urdu Bazaar has been contributing to the society, is a landmark of the city and should be declared as a part of our cultural heritage.

According to the members of Urdu Bazaar Market Association, the shops in Urdu Bazaar have been there for many decades and the majority of them have been set up through a legal procedure.

Sayed Zafarul Hassan, senior executive member of Urdu Bazaar Market Association also said that the shopkeepers have paid the rent to KMC till December 2018, which is paid after an interval of six months.

This news has stirred up tension on social media and citizens are against this latest chapter of Karachi anti-encroachment drive.

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