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HYDERABAD: Strike was observed in a number of towns in Hyderabad division on Sunday on a call for protest given by the banned Jeay Sindh Muttahida Mahaz against ‘custodial deaths’ of its workers.

Qasimabad and other rural talukas of Hyderabad remained shut in response to the call while a partial strike was observed in Hyderabad city and Latifabad areas.

No untoward incident was reported from any part of the division during the strike.

All markets and business centres and filling stations remained completely closed in Qasimabad and there was little traffic on roads.

On the contrary, there was business as usual in the city and Latifabad and all main trade centers like Market Tower, Tilak incline, Lajpat Road, Chotki Ghitti, Cloth Market, Shahi Bazaar, Resham Gali and Timber Market remained open. Traffic was, however, thin on the roads.

In Matiari district, JSMM activists took out a rally and a strike was observed in Hala where the party also brought out a rally, demanding recovery of missing activist of JSMM.

In Tando Allahyar, a partial strike was observed and a rally was brought out by JSMM activists which terminated at Latif gate where the leaders addressed the protesters.

They said that JSMM activists were routinely picked up, kept at secret locations and after some days they ended up dead and their bodies were found in different parts of the province.

A complete strike was observed in Tando Moha­mmad Khan where party activists blocked roads leading to Sujawal, Hyde­rabad and Badin by burning tyres to block traffic. However, no untoward incident was reported.

JSMM had given the call for strike against custodial deaths of its activists Asif Panwhar, Waheed Lashari and others. The party claimed the activists were picked up from different areas by state agencies and later their trussed up bodies were found.

LARKANA: Dr Qadir Magsi, chairman of the Sindh Taraqqi-pasand Party (STP) has appealed to chief justice of Pakistan to take notice of the incidents in which activists of nationalist parties were picked up and later their mutilated bodies were found.

Dr Magsi said at a press conference here at the press club on Sunday that the situation in Sindh was not like that of Balochistan but the number of bodies had now increased to 40.

He said that such actions would only add to the number of agitators and the history bore witness to the fact no struggle could not be crushed by applying such tactics.

On the assassination of Dr Khalid Mehmood Soomro, Dr Magsi said that it was not unexpected. Dr Soomro’s murder was a high-profile case, which, he said, should not be ignored and called for unmasking the killers within 72 hours and registering an FIR against chief minister Sindh because he was directly responsible for peace in the province. Dr Soomro had very clear stand on Sindh’s issues, he said.

Terming targeted operation in Karachi merely an eyewash, he alleged that Zardari-MQM nexus had handed over Sindh to corruption. Corruption running into billions of rupees was committed during the last tenure of PPP when it shared power with the MQM, he said.

Now, he said, huge funds were regularly released to taluka municipal offices and other departments in Sindh which were then siphoned off by elected representatives.

He alleged that Malik Riaz’s projects were being launched only to turn Sindhis into a minority and termed the fresh moves after Zulfikarabad and Dingi Island as a modern technique of colonisation. Sindh is, was and would remain intact, he asserted.

Dr Magsi said in response to a question that Imran Khan, chairman of Tehreek-i-Insaf was a moderate leader like Zulfikar Ali Bhutto but he was immature in politics and had to put up with character assassination and scathing criticism. “Let’s see what’s the scene in 2018,” he added.

Asked what hindered nationalist parties speaking with one voice over different issues of Sindh, he said that due to immature behavior they were not one. They should end their personal feuds to become united on Sindh agenda, he said.

He said that Sindh had been deprived of its rights through constitutional and legal juggleries and demanded 30 per cent elections on the basis of proportional representation and 70 per cent on the basis of constituency so as to accommodate smaller political parties. It would strike a balance, he believed.

Published in Dawn, December 1st, 2014