Pakistan Forcibly Evicts Farmers
April 13, 2023
Cited article by Al Jazeera
HRRC joins Human Rights Watch in calling for Pakistan to end its evictions of farmers from their land for the Ravi Riverfront Urban Development Project. While the project aims to provide valuable environmental and civic benefits, the government's actions of forcing families off their lands on behalf of private developers are damaging.
Authorities have forcibly evicted thousands of Pakistani farmers for an infrastructure project near Lahore city, the capital of the eastern Punjab province. The $7 billion USD Ravi Riverfront Urban Development Project (RUDA) began in 2020 and aims to provide housing for a large population, while also addressing environmental concerns and employment opportunities. However, according to Human Rights Watch, the Pakistani government has worked on behalf of private developers to claim the land for the project, 85% of which has been agricultural.
Reports indicate that farmers have received threats of criminal charges and other intimidation tactics. Since 2020, over 100 farmers were charged for refusing to vacate their land. Despite a Supreme Court order stating that the Pakistani government could only continue production on current land, reports indicate that farmers continue being evicted.