Nationalist parties mount pressure on Sindh govt for expulsion of ‘illegal immigrants’

Published October 16, 2023
ACTIVISTS of JSQM block a road outside the Hyderabad Press Club during a protest against ‘illegal immigrants’.—Photo by Umair Ali
ACTIVISTS of JSQM block a road outside the Hyderabad Press Club during a protest against ‘illegal immigrants’.—Photo by Umair Ali

LARKANA: Activists of Jeay Sindh Mahaz-Riaz (JSM-R) and Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz (JSQM) staged rallies and processions in a number of Sindh towns on Sunday to mount pressure on interim Sindh government to expel Afghan refugees and other aliens from the province immediately in line with federal government’s ultimatum to illegal immigrants.

JSM-R chairman Riaz Chandio, who led his workers’ sit-in on Ratodero-Khuzdar road in Ratodero town, told journalists that Afghans’s illegal stay unacceptable. “We respect Afghans as a brave nation and therefore ask them to better vacate Sindh and go to their homeland. Their (Afghans) land is a heaven for them where a government of their choice is functioning hence they should not burden our land,” he said.

He wondered why Sindh government was dragging its feet over the issue while Punjab and Khyber Pakh-tunkhwa caretaker governments were taking measures to expel the aliens.

He accused police of being hand in glove with the illegal immigrants. Afghans were involved in selling drugs in Sindh, he said.

JSM-R, JSQM stage demonstrations in a number of towns

He criticised Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl chief Maulana Fazulur Rehman’s stance on Afghan refugees and urged the party workers to follow their leader Dr Khalid Mehmood Soomro who had always supported anti-Kalabagh dam and other issues of Sindh.

He said that his party would hold a large sit-in and rally in Hyderabad on Oct 19 and raise the slogan of ‘go Afghans go’.

In Hyderabad, Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz-Bashir chairman Sanan Qureshi led a procession, from Nasim Nagar chowk to local press club, demanding expulsion of illegal immigrants including Afghans from Sindh.

Qureshi said in his address to the protesters that time had come for people to rise in support of Supreme Court directive for repatriation of all illegal immigrants to their home countries.

He announced staging a ‘historic’ rally in Karachi against expulsion of illegal immigrants.

Other party leaders warned that if the government did not expel illegal immigrants then JSQM would do it in its own way as late Bashir Qureshi did during Afghan war. When the apex court had passed the order then why the government and administration were not expelling the aliens, they said.

Activists of JSM-R also staged a sit-in at Hyderabad bypass, which brought the traffic to a halt for quite some time.

The party leaders said that Sindh had been bearing with burden of Afghans since 1980. Afghans had introduced drug and gun culture to Sindh and were involved in lawlessness and crimes, they said, adding Sindhis would never accept them.

In Nawabshah, JSQM activists staged a demonstration outside local press club against police action on Saturday against peaceful protesters in Hyderabad who were demanding expulsion of Afghans.

The protesters condemned the baton charge and alleged that police were safeguarding Afghans instead of arresting illegal immigrants.

The party’s former vice chairman Dr Niaz Kalani led a procession in Daulatpur town from court road to local press club.

The protesters warned if the Afghans and other illegal immigrants were not sent back, they would continue their protest.

Published in Dawn, October 16th, 2023

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