KARACHI: The Jamaat-i-Islami on Sunday took out a big rally from Quaidabad to Governor House and warned that it would stage a sit-in outside the Chief Minister House in the next phase if its demands regarding a fresh census, end to job quota system and an empowered local government system were not met.
Riding motorbikes, cars, vans, buses and other vehicles, a large number of party workers, leaders and supporters, including women and children, participated in JI’s Haq Do Karachi Ko [Give rights to Karachi] rally that passed through Sharea Faisal and ended at Fawara Chowk.
Carrying placards and JI flags, a number of other processions taken out from different parts of the city also joined the main rally to listen to the address of their leaders at the culminating point near the Governor House, where the participants staged a brief sit-in before presenting a 17-point charter of demand.
The speakers warned both federal and provincial governments that if they continued to fail to deliver, the JI would be justified to take “extreme” measures.
Fresh census, end to quota system, KE’s audit, availability of basic amenities main demands
“The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf and Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan have deceived the people of Karachi,” said JI city chief Hafiz Naeem ur Rahman. “They have won the majority mandate from the metropolis but we see no change in this city. On the other hand, the Pakistan Peoples Party has destroyed Karachi while enjoying powers for the last 13 years.”
He said that the parties would soon find people of Karachi holding them accountable on roads and streets for their rights and the JI would be there with the people.
He said that it was a criminal act on the part of the political parties representing Karachi for failing to play their due role against the acceptance by the federal cabinet of the National Census 2017 in which the population of Karachi was intentionally and with ulterior motives shown much lesser than the actual count.
“Isn’t it an irony that the city which shares more than 70 per cent of national revenue is deprived of water, buses, roads and electricity? Isn’t it a joke that the city which is called the business capital of the country is crying for jobs for its youths? Isn’t it a fraud that the city which caters to the needs of people from every part of the country is pushed against the wall for political gains and in the name of ethnic divide? This mindset will no more work and the JI would exercise its every legal, democratic and constitutional right to resist every anti-Karachi move.”
Hafiz Naeem also demanded abolishing of the job quota system, provision of employment to youths in Karachi, an empowered local government system, 15-year audit of the K-Electric, uninterrupted gas supply to citizens, early completion of the Green Line bus service and an effective solid waste management system for the city.
“We ask the Sindh government whether it really considers Karachi as a part of Sindh or not and we firmly say here we are not biased in our thinking or deeds and we talk for everybody’s rights in Sindh,” he added.
He said his party would stage a sit-in outside the CM House if the demands were not met.
Published in Dawn, March 29th, 2021