Sunday May 29, 2022

JI to protest across Sindh against disputed LG law

Hafiz Naeemur Rehman accuses the PPP of making attempts to create a divide between the Sindhis and the Mohajirs.

January 06, 2022
JI Karachi chief Hafiz Naeemur Rehman addressing the protesters in Karachi. -Photo JI Twitter
JI Karachi chief Hafiz Naeemur Rehman addressing the protesters in Karachi. -Photo JI Twitter

As part of its tactics to pressure the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party in Sindh to withdraw the recently passed controversial local government bill, the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) has decided to extend its ongoing protest campaign across the province.

JI Sindh chief Muhammad Husain Mehanti made this announcement while speaking at the sit-in camp outside the Sindh Assembly on Wednesday when the protest entered its sixth day.

“The protest camps against the black bill will be set up in all cities and towns of the province on Friday and Sunday,” he said, adding that the campaign against the provincial government would continue till the “anti-people” law was repealed.

Addressing the protesters, JI Karachi chief Hafiz Naeemur Rehman said ministers belonging to the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party were issuing misleading statements to cover up their corruption in development authorities. “PPP leaders Agha Siraj Durrani and Saeed Ghani should have come forward in the media to prove the powers devolved to the local government setup.”

Rehman said the Karachi Development Authority (KDA) had been placed under the authority of the local government setup, but the PPP had taken it away. He alleged corruption in the development authorities and equated it to the exploitation of the people in Sindh.

“Those who accuse the JI of seeding hatred and ethnic-based politics need to know that the PPP and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement have not spared any slot for this nefarious type of politics in the political arena of Karachi,” he said. He said the JI had been staged protests for the people belonging to all areas of the country. “Karachi is called Mini-Pakistan because people from all ethnic backgrounds live in this city. The PPP should withdraw the law if it is serious and sincere about the megalopolis.”

Rehman also accused the PPP of making attempts to create a divide between the Sindhis and the Mohajirs. He said JI MNA Akbar Chitrali had already submitted a resolution in the National Assembly for a separate chapter in the constitution for local bodies, and it would be a test case for all political parties, including the PPP, the MQM and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, to respond to the resolution.

The JI leader said the struggle would continue till the law was repealed because a mayor without any monetary or administrative powers would not be able to deliver. “The PPP has ruined all institutions in the province; 49,000 public sector schools have been destroyed in the province. From the chief minister to the bureaucracy in the province, not even a single individual would like to get their children admitted to the schools.”

Rehman said the struggle launched by the JI was to resolve the problems of the people, and the PPP should not expect a friendly opposition from the JI, something it had enjoyed while dealing with the MQM. “Contrary to the MQM, the JI has been opposing the politics of division since day one.”

A large number of protesters showed an unshakeable resolve despite the fact that JI Karachi chief Rehman allowed the participants to leave the venue when heavy rains hit the venue of the sit-in at night.

On the sixth day of the protest on Wednesday, delegations of religious clerics, students, representatives of the school owners’ association, ABAD and people affected by cooperative societies visited the sit-in to express solidarity with the protesters.