PEOPLE throng the Quaid’s mazar on Wednesday to pay homage to the Father of the Nation while (right) schoolgirls sing the national anthem with AJK flags fluttering in the background. —PPI / Reuters
PEOPLE throng the Quaid’s mazar on Wednesday to pay homage to the Father of the Nation while (right) schoolgirls sing the national anthem with AJK flags fluttering in the background. —PPI / Reuters

KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Wednesday led an Independence Day and Kashmir solidarity rally organised by the Pakistan Peoples Party and attended by more than half a dozen political parties.

Leaders and workers of Jamaat-i-Islami, Pak Sarzameen Party, Awami National Party, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, PML-Q and others also joined hands with the PPP for the sake of Kashmir cause. The rally was taken out from the Peoples Secretariat near Mazar-i-Quaid to the Empress Market.

Speaking on the occasion, the CM said that Indian aggression and atrocities in India-held Kashmir was a threat to peace in the region and reiterated the pledge that the freedom struggle would continue till liberation of Kashmir.

National and Kashmir flags and big banners were displayed on the entire route of the rally to show solidarity with Kashmiris and condemn the Indian aggression.

Before riding on a truck to lead the rally, the chief minister along with party leaders Saeed Ghani, Murtaza Wahab and Taj Haider marched from the Peoples Secretariat up to the Quaid’s mausoleum.

The chief minister says all parties fully support the government policy on Kashmir and national security

The main banner was inscribed with the slogan Kashmir kee Azadi Tak Jang Rahegi, or the war will continue until the freedom of Kashmir.

The leaders pointed out that on Independence Day people of the entire province, including Karachi, had demonstrated historical solidarity with their Kashmiri brothers.

They said that the people had given their mandate on the issue of Kashmir to the federal government and now the prime minister should fight the case of Kashmiris against India with full authority.

They also called to give up policy of confrontation against the opposition for the sake of national harmony.

‘We are all one’

Prominent among the leaders of other political parties were PSP chairman Mustafa Kamal, ANP’s Shahi Syed, Muslim Pervez of the JI, Tariq Hasan of the PML-Q.

Addressing the rally, the CM said that today entire Pakistan was united for the Kashmir cause and the PPP was with the people of Kashmir. “We demand that the federal government play its role for implementation of the resolutions of the United Nations on Kashmir.”

He said this rally was taken out on the instruction of PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari to express solidarity and political parties by joining the rally had proved that for the cause of Kashmir and Pakistan “we are all one”.

He said that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi after his re-election had unleashed brutalities on unarmed Kashmiris and in this hour of tribulation, Pakistanis were standing along with their Kashmiri brothers.

The chief minister said if India made an attempt to attack Pakistan to divert attention of the world from its state-sponsored terrorism in held Kashmir, it would get due response from Pakistan.

“We fully support the government policy on Kashmir and national security and continue our struggle for the security of Pakistan and right of self-determination for the Kashmiris,” he said.

Earlier, the CM visited the Quaid’s mausoleum to pay homage to the Father of the Nation. He also recorded his thoughts in the visitor’s book.

He said that Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah was a true leader who liberated Muslims of the subcontinent from the hegemony of Hindus and gave a separate country. He said that Indian aggression and atrocities in India-held Kashmir were a threat to regional peace.

He also praised the Muttahida Qaumi Movement Pakistan-led local government and Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar and his provincial government for “hard work” during recent rains.

“I don’t believe in any political point-scoring and blame game,” he said while talking to reporters. “We all played our role including the Karachi mayor who worked hard for the relief of the people. We managed to drain out water from roads and low-lying areas of Madras Society, Scheme 33, Yousuf Goth of district West and Sindhi Muslim Society. It’s everyone’s effort. We need to enhance coordination among the institutions for effective and quick response in such situation.”

Published in Dawn, August 15th, 2019