Wednesday May 25, 2022

‘PPP should agree on direct election for mayor if it claims to be Karachi’s popular party’

By Our Correspondent
January 23, 2022

The Jamaat-e-Islami’s (JI) ongoing sit-in outside the Sindh Assembly against the disputed local government law entered its 24th day on Saturday. The party’s central chief, Sirajul Haq, will address the workers convention at the sit-in today (Sunday).

Despite cold and stormy winds, the participants of the protest showed unshakable resolve while the food court set up by the religious party also attracted families.

Delegations representing various communities joined the sit-in on Saturday to express solidarity with the party. Speaking to the protesters and the media, JI Karachi Emir Hafiz Naeemur Rehman said the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leadership was issuing illogical statements in panic over the sit-in.

Addressing Sindh Information Minister Saeed Ghani, the JI leader said his party should devolve powers to the local bodies as per the law promulgated by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in 1972, if the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) did not like Musharraf's 2001 local government law.

Ghani was also asked to devolve powers to the local government set up in Sindh instead of issuing explanations over Bhutto’s job as the martial law administrator.

Rehman held the PPP's undemocratic behaviour, pro-feudalism mindset, corruption, and unlimited greed for funds and powers responsible for the sit-in and outrage of the people against the PPP.

He said some PPP leaders used the pretext of their majority in the Sindh Assembly as justification for unconstitutional legislation. “The PPP leadership should agree to an empowered and directly elected city mayor if it believes in its own claim of popularity.”

Rejecting the PPP’s criticism that the JI has started politics based on ethnic division, the JI city chief said his party rejected the politics of division and believed in parity as well as justice.

Rehman also lambasted the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan and other parties in Karachi's political arena for their dual standards in connection with their own progress and that of their city.

He said that rough weather and political conditions in the city could not affect the will of the protesting JI workers. Reiterating his demands, he said that Karachi — a city of 30 million people — needed a mega city government to run its affairs. He also demanded a mass transit system,