Sindh’s opposition parties observe black day, demand re-elections

By Our Correspondent
February 28, 2024
JUIF party supporters hold flags during a party rally in this image released on October 26, 2203. — Facebook/Jamiat Ulama-e-Islam Pakistan

The Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA), the Jamaat-e-Islami and the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) on Tuesday demanded re-election in the country, saying that the “stolen” public mandate should be returned, otherwise the scope of their protest movement would be widened.


These views were expressed by the leaders of these political parties while addressing a joint protest rally outside the Karachi Press Club, observing a black day against alleged rigging in the general elections held earlier this month.

Many workers of these three political parties, including women and the elderly, were present at the demonstration. Holding their respective party flags, they shouted slogans such as “bogus election unacceptable” and “fraud election unacceptable”.

Addressing the protesters, GDA General Secretary Dr Safdar Abbasi said the country is in trouble due to the elections held on February 8, and it would not be able to run if the rigging allegations are not addressed.

Referring to the oath-taking ceremony of the newly elected MPAs in the Sindh Assembly, Dr Abbasi said that on Saturday the entire Karachi was closed to prevent the opposition parties from protesting and, in the meantime, “thieves” were sworn in as lawmakers.

Taking a jibe at the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), he said: “Where are those who claimed to build three million houses free of charge and provide 300 units of free electricity to the people of Sindh?”

He claimed that the PPP has come into the field for looting and plundering, and that the party has nothing to do with the people of the province.

He also said that a 10-member committee comprising all the opposition parties has been formed, and this committee would decide the future course of action.

GDA Information Secretary Sardar Abdul Rahim said the opposition’s protest is being held in full swing, adding that Shaheed Suriya Badshah played his role in the creation of Pakistan, while Pir Pagara and the Hur Jamaat are still making sacrifices for the country and the nation.

Rahim demanded that the Supreme Court take notice of the “rigged” elections. He said that such an election had been held in the past, and it was followed by the tragedy of the East Pakistan, warning that if justice is not served, the opposition parties’ protest would intensify.

“Public protest is our real strength. In 1970 there were anti-state elections, and the PPP was responsible for it,” he said, adding that the PPP is also responsible for the “fraud” in the 2024 elections.

JI leader Osama Razi said that a few people were made happy by releasing “false” results, and the public mandate was “snatched”. He said that terrorists have been imposed on Karachi, and thieves in the rest of Sindh. “People will not accept this hybrid dictatorship.”

Political activist Dr SM Zameer said the candidates who were successful on February 8 were defeated on February 9. Advocate Muzaffar Brohi said the women of Sindh who were protesting peacefully against the “theft” of the public mandate were subjected to violence, which is condemnable.

Other speakers included JUI-F leader Maulana Rashid Soomro, the GDA’s Khizer Hayat Mangrio, Arshad Shar Baloch, Maulana Samiul Haq, the Sindh United Party’s Khwaja Naveed and JI Youth President Yasir Yazdani.