KARACHI, Oct 10: The Sindh Bachayo Committee (SBC) on Wednesday reiterated its pledge of not resting till the new local government law is repealed.

This was the gist of the speeches delivered at a rally held under the aegis of the SBC outside the Karachi Press Club on Wednesday to kick-start it’s second phase of protests against the recently promulgated Sindh People’s Local Government (SPLG) Law 2012.

Besides leaders of nationalist parties, MPAs Nusrat Sehar Abbasi of the Pakistan Muslim League-Functional (PML-F), Masroor Khan Jatoi of the National People’s Party (NPP), Asadullah Bhutto of the Jamaat-i-Islami (JI), Saleem Zia of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, Qazi Ahmad Noorani of the Jamiat Ulema-i-Pakistan, Badshah Gul of the Pakhtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party and Shamshad Ghauri of the Mohajir Qaumi Movement (MQM-H) were also present at the rally.

SBC chief Syed Jalal Mehmood Shah called the SPLG law a black law which was not legislated for Sindh’s interests but only for the whims of two parties — the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) — to trigger a civil war in the province.

Recalling how the bill had been passed by the Sindh Assembly in under four minutes, the SBC chief said that it was a cruel joke on the people of Sindh and was also a shame on democracy. “The PPP claims of having the peoples’ mandate,” he said. “The people never gave them the mandate to legislate against the interests of the province.”

Addressing the Urdu-speaking brothers in the province, Mr Shah, who is also the president of the Sindh United Party (SUP), said that history has provided them with a golden opportunity to join the SBC, foil the conspiracy being hatched against Sindh and to maintain its unity, solidarity and progress.

Talking about the PPP’s public gathering, to be held on Oct 15 in Hyderabad, he said that it would not be of the PPP but would be dominated by the MQM and the PPP leaders ‘will also attend it’.

Amidst slogans and cheers of “Mervesoon, Sindh Na Desoon (I will die but not give up Sindh)” and “Jeay Sindh (Long live Sindh)”, he said that the SBC’s struggle was peaceful and would continue till the black law was withdrawn.

Chief of the Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz (JSQM) Dr Qadir Magsi said that the participation of peace-loving people in the rally and their rejection of fear and terrorism in the city proved that Karachi was no longer ruled by the MQM. For him Sindh was like a mother, he said, adding that the PPP had formulated an anti-Sindh law to justify its division.

He alleged that the MQM did not represent Urdu-speaking people but terrorists and this was evident by the fact that people from all parties except the MQM took part in the rally on Wednesday. However, in the next breath the JSQM chief said that they did not want a confrontation with any party but the PPP was pushing people towards confrontational politics. “But if the PPP organises a rally in support of the black law then our people would protest by holding black flags and hanging tawas (traditional skillets) on their houses,” he said. “Now that the people have refused to attend the PPP rally on Oct 15 the government is threatening to fire patwaris (village accountants), clerks and school employees if they did not attend the meeting.”

Dr Magsi assured government employees that the SBC would provide them due protection if they chose not to participate in the PPP rally on Oct 15 and suggested observing a day of protest day and wheel-jam strike simultaneously.

NPP parliamentary leader Masroor Khan Jatoi said that the nationalist leaders and SBC would continue to oppose the black law inside and outside the assembly because it was not in line with the wishes of the people. He advised the government to pay heed to people’s wishes and withdraw the local government law.

General Secretary of the Sindh PML-N Saleem Zia said that the LG law was not only against Sindh but also a conspiracy against Pakistan. He announced absolute support for the SBC in its struggle against any move to divide the province.

Jeay Sindh Tehreek chief Dr Safdar Sarki also vowed to foil every conspiracy against the unity of Sindh.

Sindh JI chief Asadullah Bhutto said that the PPP and MQM had insulted the mandate of the people living in the province by framing an anti-Sindh law and also demanded its immediate withdrawal.

Shamshad Ghauri of the MQM-H said that Karachi was being slowly separated from Sindh but his party would not allow it to happen and would struggle shoulder to shoulder with the SBC.Other speakers included Ali Hasan Chandio of the SNM, Anwar Soomro of Awami Tehreek and Abrar Qazi.