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Villagers in PM Imran’s Mianwali constituency face eviction from ‘ancestral land’

Rikhi: Hundreds of villagers in Prime Minister Imran Khan’s home town Mianwali have requested him to take notice of their evictions from their homes in an anti encroachment campaign near his Namal College.

The residents of Khanqah Sharif were recently asked to vacate their homes established on the land owned by the department of the Auqaf and Religious Affairs .

People from nearby villages gathered near the shrine of Baba Hafiz Ji on the banks Namal Lake to express solidarity with residents of Khanqah Sharif whose ancestors, according to them, have lived there for generations.

The demonstration was held shorty after the Eid holidays when authorities arrived in the area with bulldozers to raze the houses in the scenic village.

The villagers were given a deadline of a few days to collect their stuff before their houses are bulldozed. Talking to the local media, the affectees requested Prime Minister Khan to direct the Punjab government to cancel its plan to demolish the village as they have nowhere to go. “Most of them do not own any land or have any resources to build new houses in near by villages where their relatives are settled. Where will they go with their families after being evicted from their ancestral home?” said a protester.

Another said the premier should resolve the issue on humanitarian basis as the villagers seem to have lost the legal battle to keep their houses.

Khan won the constituency after defeating Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz candidate Ubaidullah Shadi Khel. The residents of Rikhi, Namal, Kalri and Chakrala areas have been staunch supporters of the former cricket hero and have supported him in every election since he launched his party, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf.

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