KARACHI: Scores of men in Karachi from the Mehsud and Burki tribes from Waziristan and other areas of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa joined the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) in Sindh on Sunday.
PML- N’s Sindh president, Ghous Ali Shah, and general secretary, Saleem Zia, took this opportunity to hold a press conference. They demanded the government immediately retract the increase in the prices of petroleum products and CNG, saying that it will add to the burden of the poor.
They also condemned the bloodshed in Karachi. “The government should take serious measures to maintain law and order in the city. We offer condolences to the families of the victims.”
Shah urged coalition partners to not call for more days of mourning as it affects the everyday routine of the city. “The coalition partners should decide whether they intend to save the city or if they wish to maintain their power.” They condemned the drone attacks in their areas which, according to them, targeted innocent people.
Haji Daghistan Khan, Haji Mir Zaman Khan, Dilawar Khan and other elders from both tribes, shouted slogans in favour of the PML-N’s leadership and announced their support for the party in future. “Stop the drone attacks. Pakistan is not a weak country but its rulers have not used their power for good. We are Pakistanis and such attacks make us appear indifferent to the country,” said Daghistan Khan.
Mir Zaman, the Mehsud tribe chief, appealed to the Pakistan Peoples Party, the Awami National Party and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement to stop the killings of Pakhtuns in Karachi. “We are being killed in both Karachi and Waziristan.”
The elders of the Mehsud and Burki tribes had planned a big public rally in Sohrab Goth but postponed it due to the prevailing situation in the city. According to Dilawar Khan and Mir Zaman, about 50,000 people were expected to attend the rally.
“The PML-N does not support drone attacks as they are against the sovereignty of the country and represent the government’s weakness. Pakistan is a nuclear state but the rulers have not dared to take bold steps,” said Shah.
He assured the elders of both tribes that their reservations will be raised before the PML-N top leadership, saying that their issues are genuine and must be addressed.
Shah described the two tribes as brave and welcomed them into PML-N. “The party’s strength has increased with Mehsud and Burki tribes.”
Published in The Express Tribune, April 2nd, 2012.