This article tells the story of Beebul Hassan, a 37 year old mother of 7 children, belonging to the small village of Deh Jharandi, District Thatta, who was one of the hundreds of women mobilized and facilitated by Participatory Development Initiatives, in applying for the lands distributed under Benazir Bhutto’s Land for Landless Women Hari’s.
This article highlights the work Participatory Development Initiatives [PDI] to raise awareness about the second phase of the land redistribution programme of the Government of Sindh. PDI who has already been engaged in the awareness and advocacy in the first phase of land distribution, has formed teams to launch a massive campaign in different districts of Sindh to ensure that the poorest of poor women are well informed about the program and are able to fill and submit their application forms for receiving government land.
The article raises questions about the transparency of the Sindh government’s land redistribution programme and refers to a research study conducted by a non-government organisation, Participatory Development Initiatives (PDI) which point to a number of flaws.
The author’s argue that rural discontent over chronic poverty, corruption, and the failure of the government to foster development is widespread in Pakistan and that land tenure and property rights are one aspect of these problems. Post-independence Pakistan has retained a feudal system of land tenure in which an elite class of landowners owns vast holdings worked by tenant farmers and laborers who live in persistent poverty. The Taliban is building popular support based in part upon anger over unequal distribution of land and unfair owner-tenant contracts.