Call to observe black day on Thursday
KARACHI: Police resorted to baton-charged and fired tear-gas, on Wednesday in a bid to disperse the MQM-P protesters outside Chief Minister House leaving several protesters injured.
MQM-P workers and leaders gathered in large numbers during the afternoon hours to stage a protest against the controversial local government bill.
The protesters attempted to reach the Chief Minister’s House for a sit-in. As a result, the flow of traffic was severely affected on the road considered to be the city’s main artery.
The police, however, baton-charged the protesters and used teargas shells in an attempt to dissuade it from entering the red zone.
MQM-P representatives said several protesters were injuries, while the police arrested half a dozen activists.
The police cleared the area and roads have traffic has been resumed, while five people have been arrested so far from the area near CM House, the report added.
Later, MQM-P protesters went to Karachi Press Club where their leaders held a press conference in order to decide on an action plan.
Call to observe black day
MQM-P Convener Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui announced that the party would observe a black day on Thursday. He also called on PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari to “restrain” the Sindh chief minister. “Otherwise, Bilawal House is also located in the city,” he warned.
He also claimed that the former nazim of New Karachi had lost vision in one of his eyes due to police violence. He warned the “biased” chief minister of “horrible consequences” once citizens take to the streets.
The opposition leader in the Sindh Assembly, Haleem Adil Sheikh, also condemned the incident and termed it the “authoritarian approach” of the PPP government.
Condemning the police action to disperse the protesters and injuring them, former mayor of Karachi Wasim Akhtar said that the “worst form of state force was used against the protesters,” adding that several workers and leaders were wounded because of the baton charge.
Senior MQM-P leader Aminul Haq said, “We are politicians and we are always ready for talks,” he said, adding that the Sindh government used baton charge and tear gas “without warning.”
MQM-P wants to divert public’s attention from real issues: Ghani
Sindh Minister for Information Saeed Ghani, while speaking to media said that MQM-P decided to change the location of the protest, as they had earlier announced the demonstration outside the press club but they started marching towards the CM House.
“We are not against protests, even Jamat-e-Islami has been protesting in front of the Sindh Assembly for almost a month now,” he said, adding that the MQM-P should have been careful as several foreign players are staying in hotels near the CM House because of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) which is scheduled to commence tomorrow.
Ghani further added that because of PSL, security is already on high alert the protestors were warned not to move towards the CM House; however, they defied all requests and the police had to take action.
Blaming the MQM-P, the minister said that if the party workers and leaders had protested outside the press club the situation would have been different.
PML-N MNA Kheeal Das expressed concern over the situation and urged both the sides to opt for talks and demonstrate responsible behavior to control the brewing “sentiment of hatred” in the province.