THATTA, March 25: The nationalist leaders of Sindh welcomed release of higher judiciary judges on Tuesday and used the occasion to reiterate their demand for the release of Baloch and Sindhi nationalist leaders and activists, including Akhtar Mengal, Dr Safdar Sarki and Asif Baladi.

The Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz chairman Basheer Qureshi termed the release of detained judges a commendable step and stressed that the detained leaders of nationalist parties in Balochistan and Sindh deserved similar treatment.

Mr Qureshi said during his address to the participants of a long-march, which started from Dhabeji and terminated outside the press club in Thatta, that Punjab had usurped the resources of Sindh and Balochistan since the creation of Pakistan, leading to an acute sense of deprivation among people of the two provinces.

He said that Sindh faced poverty, unemployment, illiteracy, feudalism, dark customs and traditions like karo-kari and the rulers who had always condoned conspiracies aimed at keeping Sindhis mired in crises.

Mr Qureshi demanded that the government should cancel lands in Thatta district, which he claimed had been fraudulently allotted to outsiders, and also demanded immediate release of Dr Safdar Sarki.

Our Hyderabad correspondent adds: The Sindh Taraqqi Pasand Party chairman Dr Qadir Magsi said that the release of Akhtar Mengal, Dr. Safdar Sarki and other political and nationalist activists and an end to military operation in Balochistan were necessary for undoing the wrongs committed by the dictatorial regime.

Speaking to a number of delegations, which called on him to congratulate on the release of deposed judges, Mr Magsi described the judges’ release as a positive beginning of a democratic era and stressed the need for undoing all the wrongs of the military regime.

He demanded independence of media and judiciary and release of political activists booked under false charges. People had suffered during the eight years of dictatorship, which saw all the state institutions being destroyed and the constitution defaced, he remarked.

He said that the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) had been thrust upon Sindh, members of civil society, media and lawyers were baton charged or imprisoned during the struggle for the restoration of democracy and people faced the tragedies of May 12, Nishtar Park, Oct 18 and Dec 27 under the past government.

He advised the government to redress grievances of the people of Balochistan and Sindh who bore the major brunt of atrocities during Musharraf-led government.

Awami Tehrik chief Rasool Bux Palejo termed the judges’ release a victory of civil society, lawyers, political activists and 160 million people of the country.

He congratulated people of Sindh who had defeated rulers by laying down their lives on May 12 and said that Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry and other judges should be allowed to work without wasting anymore time.

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