SAHIWAL, Dec 29: The grief-stricken Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) workers have removed Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid-i-Azam’s electioneering material including banners and hoardings from throughout the city and its suburbs during the last two days.
PPP chairperson Benazir Bhutto and scores of other were killed in an arson attack followed by a suicide bomb blast in Liaquat Bagh on Thursday evening and PML-Q’s electioneering material carrying its candidates’ names and election symbol ‘bicycle’ are falling prey to the PPP workers’ backlash.
The anguished youngsters in small groups remained on their toes throughout on Friday and Saturday, however they did not destroy any private or public property except chanting slogans against President Pervez Musharaf and PML-Q leaders and removing their publicity material.
Majority of the rallying protesters carried bamboos, sticks, iron rods and they showed their strong resentment by removing PML-Q candidates Chaudhry Nouraiz Shakoor and Rana Aftab’s banners and hoardings, tearing them into pieces and then torching them on the spot.
They resorted to high-pitched slogan mongering against Shakoor and dubbed him “Lota” (turncoat), as he was elected on a PPP ticket in 2002 general elections but later he joined the PML-Q and was inducted in the federal cabinet.
A gigantic hoarding of these two candidates measuring 60X40 feet on Sheikh Nisar Ahmed Road was also removed and later set ablaze.
At one point, Rana Aftab’s men took PPP workers, who were destroying his hoarding in College Chowk, on gunpoint but later the locals intervened and defused the tense situation.
Locals told Dawn that the PPP workers also purged Harrapa and Nur Shah localities of PML-Q’s publicity material.
City areas including Saddar, Jinnah Chowk, High Street, Deepalpur Bazaar, Pakpattan Bazar, Jogi Chowk, Bhandari Chowk, Sori Gali, Gol Chowk, Azadi Chowk, Jahaz Ground, Farid Town and Bhutto Nagar were wearing PML-Q’s banners and hoardings on Thursday but the city was giving a bald look after their removal by Saturday evening.
“We have to clean the city with everything that carries the names of PML-Q candidates and symbol of bicycle,” PPP’s district president Gulam Farid Kathya said while addressing rallies in Jogi Chowk and Rescue 15 Centre on Saturday morning.