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KARACHI: Chief of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) Sirajul Haq has appealed to the nation to participate in his party’s sit-in protest today (Sunday) to show their solidarity with the people of Karachi against the ‘black’ Sindh Local Government (Amendment) Law.

The JI protest being held outside the Sindh Assembly building against a law that aims to ‘usurp’ powers of the local government system in Sindh, he told the other night to the protestors, who were braving the harsh winter weather for the eighth consecutive day.

The eminent personalities who attended the JI’s sit-in protest, were: Mufti Muneebur Rehman, chairman All Karachi Tajir Ittehad Atiq Mir, CPLC founder Haji Nazim FG, central leader of Ulema Council Maulana Zaffar Azad and representative of Pakistan Business Forum Kamil Multani.

“The progress and development of Karachi is the progress and development of Pakistan. Pakistan cannot progress while keeping Karachi in darkness,” Sirajul Haq said. A large number of people from different parts of the metropolis continued to attend the sit-in to pressure the PPP government into withdrawing the Sindh Local Government (Amendment) Law, 2021.

He said that the JI’s struggle for the rights of Karachi, Gwadar, Islamabad or Chitral is not against any political party, but against the injustice, the system of infidelity and oppression.

Even the ‘worst’ opponents of the JI including former president Gen Pervez Musharraf (retd) and then MQM’s ex-governor Sindh Dr Ishratul Ibad had acknowledged the services of former City Nazim, late Nematullah Khan for the uplift of Karachi, he said.

The modern world is reaching out new scientific inventions and technological innovations in 2022 but Karachi continues to undergo the same old pre-independence sewerage and potable water supplies system with rusty and unhygienic pipelines, he lamented.

The ruling PPP has usurped powers of mayors and handed them over to the Sindh chief minister, he said adding, “how much more powers do you want to accumulate”. He said the people of Sindh continue to support the ruling PPP from 1971 until date but in return they found backwardness and sufferings.

Faisalabad, Sialkot and other cities of Punjab have developed over the time, he said and questioned that what holds backs Larkana, Hyderabad, Sukkur, Jamshoro and other districts of Sindh from progressing despite the continuous rule of PPP in province. “Only corruption thrived in cities of Sindh,” he said.

Children of Tharparkar suffered from malnutrition besides the rundown conditions of public education and healthcare sectors are the unfortunate highlights of the PPP rule. He vowed the JI will rebuild Karachi on modern lines if found opportunity in future, Sirajul Haq vowed.

Celebrated religious scholar Mufti Muneebur Rehman said it was a ripe time for Chief Minister Sindh, Syed Murad Ali Shah and cabinet members to realize the gravity of present political situation by coming forward for a meaningful dialogue with the JI leadership.

Without a proper mass transit system, he said, Karachi is the only metropolitan in the region to suffer from want of such a key facility as people are braving the commutation problems. There is a need to legislate for infrastructure development of Karachi in a bid to avoid overnight demolishing of legal structures.

The former chairman of Ruit-e-Hilal Committee further said that it has become a norm of the government not pay heed to just demands of the society without the loss of lives and properties. He urged the PPP government to hold talks to the peaceful protesters. He also demanded of the federal government for materialization of the Rs1100 billion uplift package for the city.

All Karachi Tajir Ittehad chairman Atiq Mir addressed the protesters on behalf of the city’s traders’ community, lending not only unconditional support to the JI’s sit-in protest but also expressed support of the businessmen to meet any such call ahead. He said the JI is the only party in the political arena, which has taken up the issue of Karachi seriously. He also lamented the chaotic decades with the MQM’s rise in the city and its negative impacts on the public, trade, and social life.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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