After impressive power shows organised by the Jamaat-e-Islami and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan last week against Sindh’s disputed local government law, the Pak Sarzameen Party and the Awami National Party have intensified preparations to organise their rallies to pressure the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party to withdraw the legislation, which, they said, was aimed at squeezing the powers from elected local government representatives.
Besides organising a sit-in outside the Sindh Assembly for the past 18 days, the JI organised a march on Sharea Faisal on Sunday, while the MQM-P, along with the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and the Grand Democratic Alliance, had organised a joint protest on Saturday at Fawara Chowk.
PSP march plan
PSP Chairman Syed Mustafa Kamal announced on Monday a “mammoth” public march to be staged from the Tibet Centre to the Chief Minister’s House on January 30 against the Sindh Local Government Amendment Act 2021.
“If we are stopped, and hurdles are created in our peaceful protest, the Sindh government will be responsible for the dire consequences,” he warned while addressing a press conference at the party’s office.
Kamal said any use of power by the provincial government would be dealt with by the people’s power and whoever dared to exercise force would get the same answer. “If we are stopped on January 30, let the PPP provincial government know that we are human beings like you; we will do whatever you do.”
He asked the people to come out of their homes in large numbers on January 30 for their rights, saying that Pakistan was not in a working state, and the federal and provincial governments had failed miserably.
“As long as the PPP has its chief minister, it doesn’t have any problem whatsoever with Punjab, establishment and federation, but when it comes to giving rights to Sindh, the tyrant rulers who occupy all the resources and powers blatantly lie to the people of Sindh that Punjab, establishment and federation are encroaching your rights,” he said. “Then, they force the youth to take up arms and then they blackmail the establishment and the federation by chanting the slogans of Sindhu Desh.”
In just 13 years, Kamal said, the PPP got Rs10,242 billion and should give its account first. The political situation in Pakistan had deteriorated drastically, and the Sindh government was ruling on the basis of hatred and prejudice, he alleged.
The PSP chief said the PPP had formed its election commission on the basis of the numerical majority through the new local government amendment act, which was a clear violation of Article 140 (2)A. Earlier, in the Local Government Act of 2013, he added, the PPP had removed the word Pakistan from the Election Commission of Pakistan and today the PPP had removed the entire word Election Commission from the 2021 Amendment Act.
“Now, without introducing the new Sindh Local Government Amendment Act in the assembly, it will be possible for the PPP to make further changes in the Local Government Act through a mere notification, which is like a bad joke with the constitution of Pakistan, which was given by the founder of the PPP, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, himself,” he said.
ANP Sindh President Shahi Syed said on Sunday the PPP reminded one of fascism by snatching powers from local government representatives through the disputed local government legislation.
He was addressing the party’s convention in Mehran Town to mobilise the workers to expedite preparations for the February 6 gathering to mark the death anniversaries of its two former leaders, Bacha Khan and Abdul Wali Khan.
The ANP leader said Karachi should not be considered just a mission to make money. “The PPP-led provincial government should show some mercy to the residents of the metropolis,” he said.
Syed said the ANP was ready to work together for the peace, development and prosperity of the city. He said his party rejected the controversial local government legislation and demanded evolving powers to the lower level.
ANP Sindh Secretary General Younas Bunariee, other leaders Bahr-e-Kamal, Nasir Khattak, Mujib Alai, Javed Khattak, and Shah Muhammad Sulemankhel also spoke to the rally. A group of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf workers also announced joining the ANP in the event.
To make the rally successful, the ANP has invited its central acting president and former Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) chief minister, Ameer Haider Hoti, KP President Aimal Wali, and Central Secretary General Mian Iftikhar Hussain to the event that would be held in the Valika Ground in the afternoon of February 6.
Though the ANP’s central leadership enjoyed good relations with the Pakistan Peoples Party at the central level, its provincial chief, Shahi Syed, attended the multi-party conference recently organised by its arch-rival Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan to jointly oppose the controversial local government law.
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