JI ends sit-in after govt agrees on Jan 15 polling

Published January 6, 2023
JI leaders and workers hold a sit-in near Governor House on Thursday. —Shakil Adil / White Star
JI leaders and workers hold a sit-in near Governor House on Thursday. —Shakil Adil / White Star

KARACHI: The Jamaat-i-Islami called off its sit–in protest on Thursday after the Sindh government assured the party that it would take every possible step to hold much delayed (second phase of) local government elections in Karachi and Hyderabad on January 15.

The assurance came from the key Sindh minister who vowed to take up the JI demands with the chief minister and then visit its office to apprise its leadership of the outcome.

However, he said, so far there was no hurdle in the January 15 elections as the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) itself was keen to contest the upcoming polls.

Sindh Local Government Minister Syed Nasir Hussain Shah visited the sit-in site and spoke to the protesting JI leaders and workers, and managed to persuade them to call off the protest and disperse peacefully as it was not the government this time that was seeking a delay in the polls.

“PPP chairman [Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari] in his recent address to party workers clearly favoured elections to be held on January 15,” he said.

“Only Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) is seeking a delay and they are not making an unfair demand. They are raising the same issue [fresh delimitation before the polls] which Jamaat-i-Islami was seeking. But we believe that the process is too lengthy and could take too much time.”

The LG minister also referred to the PPP’s deal with the JI which the two sides had struck last year, and said it reflected PPP’s commitment towards an empowered local government system.

“On your demand, it was agreed to further amend the law that would give back control of major administrative affairs of departments and institutions, including health, education and water supply & sewerage, to local administration,” he said.

“So we are pro-empowered LGs. Otherwise we would not have signed that agreement. So I request you to call off your protest and trust that the government would do its best to ensure that the elections are held on January 15,” Nasir Shah told the JI rally.

Hafiz Naeem of the JI thanked the minister for his assurance but reminded him that such promises made by the PPP and its government in the past had not been fulfilled and caused so much disappointment to stakeholder and a sense of deprivation among the people of Karachi.

“We don’t want any law and order situation to arise; we do regard the security arrangements for the visiting cricket team that have restored international cricket in the city,” he said in his address.

Published in Dawn, January 6th, 2023

Opinion

Editorial

Not without reform
Updated 22 Apr, 2024

Not without reform

The problem with us is that our ruling elite is still trying to find a way around the tough reforms that will hit their privileges.
Raisi’s visit
22 Apr, 2024

Raisi’s visit

IRANIAN President Ebrahim Raisi, who begins his three-day trip to Pakistan today, will be visiting the country ...
Janus-faced
22 Apr, 2024

Janus-faced

THE US has done it again. While officially insisting it is committed to a peaceful resolution to the...
Elections in India
Updated 21 Apr, 2024

Elections in India

Independent accounts and spot reports are at variance with Modi-friendly TV anchors and they do not see an easy victory for the Indian premier.
IHC letter
21 Apr, 2024

IHC letter

THIS is a historic opportunity for the judiciary to define its institutional boundaries. It must not be squandered....
Olympic preparations
21 Apr, 2024

Olympic preparations

THIS past week marked the beginning of the 100-day countdown to the Paris Olympics, with the symbolic torch-lighting...