PPP activists and supporters hold a rally in Badin on Saturday against ‘moves’ to hand over Karachi to the federation.—Dawn
PPP activists and supporters hold a rally in Badin on Saturday against ‘moves’ to hand over Karachi to the federation.—Dawn

LARKANA: Activists of Awami Tehreek (AT) and its sister organisations began hunger strike outside Larkana Press Club on Saturday in protest against the federal law minister’s threat of invoking Article 149 to take over administrative control of Karachi.

AT central vice president Sajid Mahesar advocate and leader of Sindhiani Tehreek Ms Noorbano Mallah and others also staged a demonstration and chanted slogans against the discriminatory move.

They alleged that Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government, in collusion with Muttahida Qaumi Movement, was facilitating MQM’s old plan of dividing Sindh. The statement of federal minister Farogh Naseem as chairman of Karachi Committee had exposed his party’s hidden agenda for the province which had the unique honour of being the first to pass resolution for Pakistan, they said.

They said that since the creation of Pakistan to date Sindh had braved many serious challenges and attacks on its integrity. Under a well-calculated conspiracy Sindh’s water had been stolen to make fertile land of Sindh barren and its natural resources had been occupied to gradually impoverish the province. Now, those who did not like to see the province flourish were making all-out efforts to implement their plan to divide Sindh, they said.

They said that they would oppose the move tooth and nail. Pakistan Peoples Party had remained in power since 1970 and the party had been using Sindh card from time to time to perpetuate its rule. They said that in 72 years of Pakistan’s existence dictators had ruled the country for 40 years and weak democracies managed governments during the remaining period.

They announced holding protests and demonstrations throughout the province on Sunday to reject with one voice the federal government’s intention of imposing Article 149 on Sindh.

Later, lawyers also joined the protest and members of district bar association staged a demonstration on court premises. They regretted that an “ethnic” organisation was talking about imposition of Article 149 and demanded federal government snatch portfolio of law from the federal minister and register case against him.

STP plans protest drive

HYDERABAD: A meeting of intellectuals and experts held at the Taraqqi-pasand House — the head-office of the Sindh Taraqqi-pasand Party (STP) — on Saturday rejected the idea of handing over control of Karachi to the federation.

The meeting was attended by former advocate general of Sindh Yousuf Laghari, former Sindh Agriculture University (SAU) vice chancellor Dr Rajab Ali Memon, Ghulam Nabi Mughal, Prof Mushtaq Mirani, Zulfiqar Halepoto, STP chairman Dr Qadir Magsi and others.

The meeting observed that it was not the first “attack on Sindh” by [current Federal Law Minister] Farogh Naseem. Such attacks had been continuing since 1947 on the political, economic and geographical fabrics of Sindh with the aim of separating the rural and urban parts of Karachi so that control of outsiders could be ensured, it claimed.

The meeting resolved that a serious struggle needed to be launched to put an end to such kind of conspiracies once and for all.

The meeting noted that lawyers and other intellectuals as well as political parties should play their role in protecting Sindh’s integrity and mobilise the general public.

The meeting decided to apprise Prime Minister Imran Khan of the sentiments of Sindhi people regarding integrity of Sindh.

The meeting also decided to convene a conference in Karachi where intellectuals representing Sindhi people at the national and international levels would highlight the issue of national rights.

The meeting warned that if any attempt was made to hand over Karachi to the federal government, a series of protests including strikes and marches would be launched.

The meeting also demanded removal of Farogh Naseem as minister.

Published in Dawn, September 15th, 2019

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