KARACHI: Protests in interior Sindh entered their second day on Tuesday against a new local government law passed by the Sindh Assembly the previous day.
According to reports, protesters torched several cars while a wild goose chase ensued between police and the protesters at some locations.
Sindhi nationalist parties had called for a strike when the Chief Minister of Sindh, Syed Qaim Ali Shah announced the bill to be presented for approval by the provincial assembly. The Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) had also supported the call for the strike.
One person was killed Monday in the violence that occurred during the strike in Nawabshah, where the Sindh Bachao Committee appealed for a strike. The activists of nationalist parties continued to stage demonstrations on Tuesday at various locations in Nawabshah.
Nawabshah – which is also the hometown of PPP chairman President Asif Ali Zardari – witnessed the most intense protests during the province-wide strike call, which seemed to have little effect on Karachi.
A policeman received bullet injuries during a clash between police and protesters on Nawabshah’s Sikandar Road. Skirmishes between police and the protesters also took place in the Gharibabad, Hospital Road and Press Club Road areas of Nawabshah.
The police made use of teargas shelling and aerial firing to disperse the protesters, according to sources. Demonstrators also burnt a car parked on Sikandar Road and five motorcycles parked at the Airport Police Station.
Protests also took place in Khairpur, Naushehro Feroz and many other areas of Sindh against the local government system
Lawyers in Khairpur and Naushehro Feroz also boycotted the courts in protest.
According to reports, businesses remained closed in Tando Mohammad Khan and protesters were present on the streets in large numbers.
Due to the strike in Hyderabad’s Qasimabad and other neighbouring areas, traffic remained less than normal.
Educational institutions remained closed in most cities of Sindh as the protests and strike entered its second day. Traffic in Sukkur and other cities was also reported to have been less than normal.
Exams due to be held on Monday in Sindh University had already been postponed due to the law and order situation in the province.
The Sindh People’s Local Government Ordinance 2012 (SPLGO) was promulgated in early September and was passed as a law by the provincial assembly on Monday. The law was approved after detailed deliberations between the leaders of the ruling Pakistan People’s party (PPP) in Sindh, and their coalition partners, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM).
Both the PPP and MQM, who constitute an overwhelming majority in the 168-member assembly, supported the bill while opposition leaders, the Sindhi nationalist parties and other political parties fiercely rejected the law, calling it the equivalent of creating a divide in the Sindh province.
The Awami National Party (ANP) and National Party had earlier announced their separation from the provincial government last month in protest against the issuance of the new local government ordinance.