KARACHI: Awami National Party may be an ally of the Pakistan Peoples Party that often declares its policy of reconciliation with all political parties a success, but on Thursday its Sindh chief Senator Shahi Syed offered up a critique. Syed declared that the policy of reconciliation had turned Karachi into the most dangerous city of the world and the government had failed to provide protection to his party’s activists.
He was also critical of the role of the media in reporting the murders of Awami National Party (ANP) activists. “On one hand we are facing the worst target killings. When target killers are all set to ambush our people, some television channels are terming the martyrdom of our party office bearers against a battle of drug sellers to spoil their reputation,” said Syed, adding that they then declared this as the stance of the police.
“It is a conspiracy to disturb the peace of Karachi and our party activists are disturbed by the role of some channels. Channel owners should remove these black sheep from their organisations who are spoiling the media’s reputation and role,” he said.
Syed was speaking at a press conference on the law and order situation of Karachi at his residence Mardan House on Thursday. According to Syed, no one from political and religious parties is safe from target killings. He said ANP activists, office bearers and supporters are targeted and killed as part of a planned conspiracy. “The government has totally failed in giving protection to ANP activists. In the past 72 hours five of our activists have been killed.”
Syed demanded that an independent home minister should be appointed for Sindh to control the law and order situation of the city as the state agencies had failed to establish peace in the city. Responding to a question on the law and order situation during the tenure of former Sindh home ministers, Syed said, “No one can control the lawlessness and target killings in the city until you deweaponise it completely, conduct a military operation and fair elections.”
Syed issued a demand to the president and prime minister to provide protection to ANP activists. He asked party members to avoid sitting in open places and to keep an eye on every suspected person.
He also announced that his party will participate in Awami Tehreek’s rally on Sunday at Gabol Park, Lyari to commemorate those killed in the attack on the Mohabbat-e-Sindh rally on May 22.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 13th, 2012.