MQM-P has given 24 hours ultimatum to release the workers and remove the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Sindh from his post. MQM-P also announced ‘Black Day’ on Thursday
KARACHI: Karachi police Wednesday evening resorted to baton-charge and tear-gas shelling on the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) workers gathering outside the Chief Minister House to protest against the recently passed amendments to the Sindh Local government Act 2013.
Several people were injured and many taken into custody, the sources in MQM-P media cell told the treasure magazine.
According to the media cell several women workers, as well as members of the provincial and National assembles got injured in the baton charge. Some MPAs were arrested by the police.
According to the media cell, senior leader of MQM-P MNA Kishwar Zahra was also injured in the clash with police and was taken to hospital for treatment.
Former city mayor and leader of MQM-P Waseem Akhter said that police have started shelling to disperse the protestors in front of the CM house Karachi, when he was talking to PPP’s city administration Murtaza Wahab. Police later cleared the area outside CM House and arrested many protesters including MQM-P workers, he said.
MQM-P has given 24 hours ultimatum to release the workers and remove the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Sindh from his post. MQM-P also announced ‘Black Day’ on Thursday.
Meanwhile, the shops at Burns Road, I.I Chundrigar road, University Road, Liaquatabad and other main markets have been closed by the protestors. The workers also burnt tires on different areas to protest against the police’s shelling and baton charge. Other areas affected by the protest were Saddar, Hotel Metropole, Press Club road, Kala Pul and airport road.
Zahid Mansoori, a member of MQM-Pakistan’s Rabita (coordination) Committee, informed the media that their sit-in was peaceful. “The people have suffered due to traffic jams but we are protesting for them. We will continue our peaceful struggle,” he said.
An hours-long gridlock was reported on the port city’s main artery and surrounding areas, with ambulances, commuters and other vehicles at a standstill as protestors marched towards the Karachi Press Club from FTC.
Earlier, thousands of commuters were stuck on the city’s main thoroughfare – Sharae Faisal – after the party activists blocked both sides of the road while protesting against the PPP-led Sindh government.
However, the destination was changed by party leaders as the protesters reached Chief Minister House, where a sit-in was staged.
The logjam also severely disrupted the route taken to Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Center (JPMC) by patients and attendees.
‘Governor’s rule only option’:
PTI’s Parliamentary Leader in Sindh Assembly Khurram Sher Zaman, while condemning the Sindh government, said that “pro-democratic forces” were being punished for protesting against the local government bill.
He questioned why the police did not use such tactics on criminal elements, adding that the PPP government was using the force for “political hooliganism”.
Khurram said “Governor’s rule” was the only option left against the behaviour of Sindh government.
Opposition parties in Sindh have been protesting against the new amendments to the local body law for weeks now. Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) has been holding a sit-in in front of the Sindh Assembly for more than 27 days.
In December, the provincial assembly had passed the contentious Sindh Local Government (Amendment) Bill 2021 again, with a few amendments to the original draft. The bill was passed amidst the opposition parties’ protest as their members tore apart copies of the agenda and created pandemonium during the assembly session, chaired by Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani.
Asad Umar Tweets:
Federal Planning Minister Asad Umar also took an exception to the use of brute force by the provincial government, saying, “The dictatorial style of government of the PPP in the guise of democracy is highly reprehensible”.
The Constitution of Pakistan, he maintained, gave citizens the right to peaceful protest, adding that the PPP’s approach to suppressing dissent through the use of force was shameful.
Federal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry also denounced the Sindh government’s “bullying”.
“At a time when an event like PSL was about to take place, there was no justification for the violent incident. The PTI Sindh leadership is closely monitoring the situation and all our support is with the MQM,” he wrote on his official Twitter handle.