KARACHI: A protest demonstration organised by the Muttahida Qaumi Movement outside the Provincial Election Commission’s office on Tuesday demanded that the authorities issue the schedule of the mayoral election forthwith and the elected local government representatives are given powers in accordance with the law and the Constitution.

Carrying banners and placards, scores of MQM workers converged on the ECP office and chanted slogans against the Sindh government for delaying transfer of powers to the elected LG representatives.

MQM chief Altaf Hussain addressed the protesters over the phone from London.

He asked the Sindh government to delegate powers to the elected LG representatives from Kashmore to Karachi. “We don’t want to fight. I urge the Sindh government to resolve the issue through dialogue and acknowledge the rights of the LG representatives.”

He said that the people would not allow the Sindh Assembly to function if the provincial government did not give rights to Karachi and other cities of Sindh.

Mr Hussain said that he seconded PPP co-chairman Asif Zardari, who had said that it was not the mandate of the Rangers to take action against corruption.

Other speakers also said that “the assembly would not be able to hold sittings” as there would be protest in every street if powers were not delegated to the councillors-elect. They claimed that the ECP and the Sindh government had joined hands to deprive the elected representatives of their due powers.

MQM’s mayoral nominee Waseem Akhtar criticised the PPP government for awarding tenders in a hurry and said that after taking the oath he would order an inquiry into these tenders.

Published in Dawn, January 13th, 2016

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