The leaders of former Karachi mayor Mustafa Kamal’s fledgling Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) received a hostile reception in Mirpurkhas on Thursday as their motorcade was attacked in over half a dozen locations in the district.
At least 10 persons, including two reporters, were injured after locals pelted the PSP with stones and eggs. Eight to ten vehicles, including the one carrying Kamal and Anis Qaimkhani, were damaged.
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Although the rally was escorted by a considerable police contingent led by SSP Usman Ghani Siddiqui, the security still proved insufficient to fully protect the PSP motorcade from attacks. Ratanabad saline drain, Heerabad, Ghareebabad, New Town, Mohajir Colony and other areas remained in the grips of pro and anti-Kamal rallies and protests, the latter reportedly staged by Muttahida Qaumi Movement supporters.
Protesters hurled abuses as well as shoes, stones, eggs and bricks. According to some reports, the stones and bricks were even thrown from rooftops along the roads where the PSP rally passed.
“By attacking us with stones and eggs, the MQM has given us the good news of our victory,” said Kamal as he addressed his supporters in the Heerabad area where he inaugurated the party office. Raza Haroon, Anees Advocate and Waseem Aftab accompanied him.
He accused MQM chief Altaf Hussain of ordering the attacks. The former Karachi mayor, however, asserted that the PSP will not respond to the attacks, saying the youth misled by Altaf mounted them. “The sun of Altaf is going to set on April 24 [the day when PSP will hold a public meeting in Bagh-e-Jinnah in Karachi],” he declared. “Altaf has turned into a pharaoh and his end will also be one of a pharaoh.”
Kamal said Sindhi and Urdu speaking people who live in Sindh are all Sindhis, accusing Altaf of creating hatred against Sindhis and people of other languages in MQM followers. “We have taken out this rally to unite the hearts of all Pakistanis. The 30 years of politics of hate and dead bodies has ended now.”
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Earlier in the day, the MQM Mirpurkhas zone also took out a rally on M A Jinnah road, led by zonal in-charge Mujeebul Haq. The MQM won the local bodies election for Municipal Committee from Mirpurkhas. But the party either did not contest or lost the local government elections in the remaining local councils in Mirpurkhas district.
ASP Abdullah Lak told the local media that the police will lodge an FIR of the attack.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 1st, 2016.