KARACHI: Leaders, activists and supporters of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) held demonstrations and took out rallies in many cities and towns of Sindh on Tuesday on a call given by the party leadership to protest against the arrest of the party’s co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari a day earlier in a National Accountability Bureau (NAB) reference.
LARKANA: A complete strike was observed in Naudero town where protesters took to the streets to demand immediate release of Mr Zardari.
Groups of protesters held sit-ins in several towns of Larkana district and raised slogans against the federal government and NAB.
In Naudero, Nisar Murad Bhutto, A.D. Bhutto and others led a demonstration and sit-in held at Allahwala Chowk. They placed burning tyres in the middle of a thoroughfare to disrupt vehicular traffic.
Speaking to the protesters, they alleged that Mr Zardari’s arrest was a calculated move by the PTI government to force the PPP leadership to agree on annulling the 18th Constitutional Amendment.
They demanded withdrawal of the “false” references against Mr Zardari.
In Larkana city, PPP district leaders Abdul Fatah Bhutto, Khair Mohammed Shaikh, Nooruddin Abro and former Sindh minister Tauqeer Fatima Bhutto led a protest rally that emerged from Kennedy Market. The participants converged on the Jinnahbagh gate and held a sit-in.
Later, they marched up to the local press club and held a demonstration.
Condemning Mr Zardari’s arrest, they alleged that the federal government was out to target opposition leaders. “The selected prime minister was doing all this only to escape from peoples’ wrath over its flawed and failed policies,” they added.
Protest demonstrations were also held in Ratodero, Qambar, Shahdadkot and some other towns.
SUKKUR: PPP’s Sukkur, Jacobabad, Ghotki and Kandhkot-Kashmore chapters organised demonstrations, rallies and sit-ins in various cities and towns of the four districts on Tuesday in response to the central leadership’s call.
In Kandhkot, the protesters, led by PPP Sindh council member Gul Mohammad Jakhrani, took out a rally from Clock Tower roundabout and marched up to the Kashmore bypass raising slogans against NAB and PTI.
Local leaders accused NAB of vengeful actions at the behest of the PTI government.
The rally and later a sit-in by the participants caused a gridlock along Indus Highway for a couple of hours.
In Jacobabad, Mir Rehmatullah Khoso, Bahadur Mugheri, councillor Riaz Abro, lawyer Ghazanfar Ali Pathan and others led a rally that emerged from the party’s district office. After marching through various roads, the rally ended at DC Chowk, where the protesters held a sit-in to block the road.
In Kashmore, PPP workers led by Dr Noor Ahmed Dayo and others took out a rally against Mr Zardari’s arrest.
They alleged that a conspiracy was being hatched against PPP leadership by the federal government, which was fearful of the party’s increasing popularity.
Similar protest demonstrations and rallies were held in big and small towns of Shaheed Benazirabad, Khairpur, Shikarpur, Dadu, Mirpurkhas, Naushahro Feroze, Umerkot, Tharparkar and Badin districts.
Published in Dawn, June 12th, 2019