Fishermen rights fighter Mohammad Ali Shah passes away
by Arbaz Ahmed
Renowned activist Mohammad Ali Shah died in Karachi hospital on Wednesday after a short illness. His confirmed by his sad demise.
Around two weeks back he was admitted to a Karachi hospital, where he breathed his lost on Wednesday.
As a social activist he fought against the release of imprisoned fishermen in Pakistan and India.
Shah was opposed to construction of dams on the Indus River.
He has remain active against Thar coal, as he thought it would deteriorate the environment and snatch the livelihood from the locals.
In 2017, he stood against the illegal occupation of lake and said “The lake spread over 1,000 acres is a glaring example of how influential landlords backed by political and administrative support have illegally occupied freshwater bodies across Sindh.” He demanded action against a landlord who, they alleged, had illegally occupied a lake in the district and barred hundreds of fishermen from earning a livelihood from the lake.
Shah also contributed to the struggle of fishermen in Badin district where water bodies were occupied by a law enforcing agency.
In December same year he was abducted. Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF) Chairman Mohammad Ali Shah claimed that he was abducted and kept in illegal confinement allegedly by an influential PPP leader in Sindh’s Sujawal district.
At one stage he launched campaign to declare Indus River as human with all fundamental rights.
He remained active against polluting water and said “Water is life. Humans, animals and plants cannot function without water. But we don’t treat our water sources very well. We take from them and we dump all our waste in them as well.”
Mohammad Ali has also opposed the townships on Sindh’s islands.
In all struggles he practically protested and marched on streets as well as engaged for lobbying.
Shah also contested elections for Sindh Assembly seat from Thatta against PPP candidate Tappi.
Rest in power Shah sb
Nazish Brohi journalist and activist in her condolence message said, Shah sb passes into history of local heroes. In early 2000s, he led a movement to take back fishing rights from Rangers paramilitary, who had monopolized fishing creeks in Badin & turned fishermen into captive labor. Men, women, children took to streets in 1000s.
Turmoil, protests, arrests across lower sindh. Musharraf had to intervene. The fisher folk won.
In the 2010 floods, they rescued thousands, were the only ones who knew waterway navigation. The govt turned to them for help. Rest in power Shah sb.
The king of delta
Marvi Mazhar paying tributes siad: Devastated to read about Mohd Ali Shahs passing away- the king of delta. Such a huge loss to the fishermen folk society. #karachi his work was so important to understand urban coast and it’s politics. What a loss.