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Protests held across Sindh against local govt ordinance

September 26, 2012

HYDERABAD, Sept 26: Leaders of nationalist parties have said they will continue to struggle against the Sindh People’s Local Government Ordinance (SPLGO) 2012 till it is repealed because the law is aimed at dividing Sindh.

They were addressing workers and supporters who took out processions, staged sit-ins and held demonstrations in protest against the SPLGO on highways and roads in almost all major towns of the province on Wednesday.

The call for the protest was given by the Sindh Bachayo Committee (SBC), which comprises Sindh Taraqqi Pasand Party, Awami Tehreek, Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz and Sindh United Party.

PML-N, JUI-F and a number of social organisations had also supported the call.

In Hyderabad, scores of activists brought out processions and marched to the bypass where they staged a sit-in. The bypass connects the National, Indus and Super highways.

The sit-in was led by senior vice-president of SUP Shah Mohammad Shah, STP chairman Dr Qadir Magsi, AT leader Anwar Soomro, JST leader Dr Safdar Sarki, Saleem Zia of PML-N, JSQM-B chairman Akash Mallah, Awami Jamhoori Party leader Abrar Kazi, Sindh National Movement’s Ali Hassan Chandio, Sindh Hari Committee convenor Azhar Jatoi and leaders of JUI-F, Jeay Sindh Qaum Parast Party and PPP-SB leader.

Addressing the protesters, Dr Magsi warned if the government did not take back the arbitrary law “we will block highways every Wednesday across Sindh and we will block roads leading to Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab”.

He criticised the PPP for working on the Zulfikarabad city project, building dams and planning to divide Sindh through the SPLGO.

Shah Mohammad Shah warned if the government did not make amends the agitation could take a different turn. He criticised PPP MNA Faryal Talpur for accusing nationalists of doing nothing against Musharraf. “We were on roads, staging sit-ins… you are remnants of Zia, Musharraf and the army and we will fight all remnants of dictators to protect Sindh’s autonomy,” he said.

Dr Safdar Sarki said that neither the MQM nor the PPP represented entire Urdu- and Sindhi-speaking communities. His party did not believe neither in parliament nor in the constitution and it was supporting the SBC because it was a matter of Sindh’s integrity, he said.

Abrar Kazi said that the MQM was poised to divide Sindh. People of Sindh had successfully countered the move of Mohajir Sooba when graffiti about the demand for a separate province appeared suddenly on the walls in Karachi.

He criticised the Sindh governor’s decision to change 30-year-old nomenclature of the Sindh Medical College. “They are doing it to systematically do away with the name of Sindh and separate it from Karachi,” he said.

In Shikarpur, former senator and secretary general of the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam’s Sindh chapter, Dr Khalid Mehmood Soomro, said at a press conference here that the SPLGO was part of a conspiracy to divide Sindh.

Dr Soomro said that no son of the soil would permit the division of the province.

He said that there was no emergency to promulgate the SPLGO in the middle of the night and demanded the government immediately withdraw what he described as ‘anti-Sindh’ law in the interest of the people.

A complete strike was observed across the Umerkot district and its adjoining towns Samaro, Pithoro and Kunri. Activists of JSQM, AT and STP who took out a processions and staged sit-ins said the rulers had sold out Sindh and its resources to MQM.

They said that terrorists and extortionists had already turned Karachi into a prison and the new law would give them a license to rob people of whatever they had.

Activists of nationalist parties blocked National Highway at Sakrand in protest against the SPLGO. Leaders of JSM, STP, PML-N and PML-F said they would not allow the SPLGO to become a law.

They said the gathering of millions of people on the highway across Sindh proved people had rejected the ordinance, which had been introduced to appease one party only.

In Jacobabad, Khairpur, Dadu, Mithi and their adjoining towns, activists of JSQM, STP, PML-N and other nationalist parties took out processions, held demonstrations, staged sit-ins and burnt tyres on roads against the SPLGO.

Local leaders condemned the ordinance and demanded its withdrawal. They saw it as part of a larger conspiracy aimed at gradually separating Sindh into two parts.