KARACHI: Jubilant Muttahida Qaumi Movement supporters took to streets for the second consecutive day on Sunday to celebrate the huge victory of their party in the Saturday local government elections.

MQM workers and supporters illuminated multi-storey buildings in their localities and decorated roundabouts with party flag colours lights and took out small rallies in their localities.

A large number of people, including families came to the Jinnah ground, adjacent to MQM’s Nine Zero headquarters, in the evening from all over the city to join the celebrations. Soon the venue was packed to capacity and people were seen standing on adjacent roads.

While cars, motorbikes, pick-ups and even buses parked on both tracks of the road leading to the famous Mukka Chowk left a little space for more vehicles, families in large numbers continued to progress towards the ground causing multiple traffic jams.

MQM flag-waving cheering youths stood on different spots on roads leading to Azizabad stopped vehicular traffic, shouted victory slogans and slogans against their opponents, particularly the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf and Jamaat-i-Islami, and danced on roads to the tunes of party songs.

At Jinnah ground, party supporters, including women and children, shouted slogans to welcome MQM chief Altaf Hussain when he joined them from London over the phone.

Mr Hussain thanked the people for the huge victory of MQM candidates in the LG elections and said that the MQM and its people were true patriots and the establishment should consider them well-wisher of the country.

Celebrations are still under way till late in the night.

Earlier on Saturday night, wild celebrations broke out in Karachi’s different localities following the results of the LG elections.

Workers and supporters in big numbers gathered at the Jinnah ground to listen to Mr Hussain’s speech, whose broadcast had been banned by the Pakistan Media Regulatory Authority on a directive of the Lahore High Court.

A spectacular display of fireworks was also organised by the MQM.

In his Saturday speech, Mr Hussain referred to the registration of a case regarding murder of MQM leader Dr Imran Farooq by the Federal Investigation Authority against him and termed it a ‘false’ case.

He said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s government had nominated him and others in this ‘false’ case since Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan was “a friend of Lal Masjid and Al Qaeda”.

Mr Hussain said that they could register the case a day after the polls but they did so because they wanted to influence the vote bank of the MQM.

He said that whole country wanted 20 new provinces and it was a public demand that a new province comprising Sindh’s urban areas be created to end the decades-old urban-rural quota system.

There were reports that jubilant workers and supporters uprooted banners and posters of candidates of rival political parties in Federal B Area. There was also an incident at Ayesha Manzil in which some Rangers personnel resorted to firing when a group of youth shouted slogans.

Published in Dawn, December 7th, 2015

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