KHUDA-KI-BASTI The establishment of Khuda-ki-Basti-or God’s village-was one of the initiatives taken in 1987 by the government of Prime Minister Muhammad Khan Junejo It was designed to address the problems posed by hundreds of squatter settlements in Karachi The enormous and unrelenting increase in Karachi’s population since 1947, when the city was chosen to become Pakistan’s first capital, had not been matched by the supply of suitable living space for the migrants who came in search of jobs This led to the development of katchi abadis-or temporary settlements-in all parts of the city These abadis were usually located on public lands and resembled squatter settlements in all major cities of the developing worldThe establishment of Khuda-ki-Basti, first in Hyderabad and then in Karachi, was one response to the problem of urban spread in south Sindh The concept was pioneered by Tawfiq Siddiqui, a civil servant, who gave operational meaning to the idea originally promoted by Prime Minister Junejo The bastis survived even after the departure of Junejo The troubles in Karachi in most of the 1990s encouraged the provincial government to keep focusing on the basti concept for depressed shanty towns in Karachi and other parts of Sindh

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