The Encroachment Debacle in Pakistan

Author: Saima Bashir
Publication Year : 2020

In Pakistan, when we talk about ‘encroachment’, we are referring to street vendors with their carts selling their goods on the road, small shops that have extended display and placement of their wares on the sidewalks, and roadside stalls selling food and other products. All this commercial activity is conducted without any proper licensing or allowances from the city authorities. This is the time-honored method for poor people to make a living. This section of our society does not have the means to invest in premises and other fixed assets to conduct their business. In the absence of financial stability, with lack of infrastructural support from government, this is the only recourse for a livelihood for the poor of our society. However, the ‘encroachment’ factor makes this thriving business sector a focus of prosecution by authorities, backed by the legal system of the country.