- Authorities resort to using tear gas at participants of rally organised near Chief Minister House
Several people were injured after police resorted to baton-charge and fired tear gas on the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) workers who tried to enter Karachi's red zone near the Chief Minister House, Aaj News reported.
Police managed to clear the area outside CM House and arrested several protestors.
The MQM-P is holding a rally in Karachi against the Sindh Local Government Act, 2021 which was passed by the Sindh Assembly in December.
The rally has disrupted traffic in several areas of Karachi. Reportedly, police have closed roads leading to the PIDC and Karachi Club. Areas affected by the protest include Saddar, Hotel Metropole, I.I Chundrigar, Press Club road, Kala Pul and airport road.
Earlier, MQM-P decided to strongly resist the Sindh Local Government Act, saying that it takes power from local government representatives and hands it to the provincial government.
Similarly, opposition parties in the provincial assembly including Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) have also opposed the new Local Government Bill.
Under the new bill, District Councils and Municipal Corporations (DMCs) will be abolished in Karachi and a town system would be restored in each division of the province. Karachi will be divided into more than 25 towns under the new LG system.
Last week, supporters of the Jamaat-i-Islami staged a sit-in on the main University Road in protest over the Sindh Local Government (Amendment) Act 2021 and demanded that the provincial government withdraw it forthwith.