Day before its inauguration, Karachi's University Road ‘defaced’ by Jamaat-e-Islami

Published: June 13, 2017
The construction of University Road has spanned five-and-a-half long months in which citizens have suffered tremendously. PHOTOS: ATHAR KHAN/EXPRESS

The construction of University Road has spanned five-and-a-half long months in which citizens have suffered tremendously. PHOTOS: ATHAR KHAN/EXPRESS

KARACHI: A day before its inauguration, the newly constructed University Road was ‘defaced’ when Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) set-up an iftar camp for their ‘Awami Iftar’ on Saturday.

The party’s amir also addressed supporters during the iftar. Workers setup the camp on main University Road by nailing four tent pegs into the road’s surface near Baitul Mukaram Mosque.

The road was completed after five-and-a-half months and was inaugurated on Sunday night by Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah.

A resident, Mohammad Akbar, while commenting on the incident, said that rather damaging the main road even before its inauguration, JI could have arranged their iftar event at a mosque. “This road has been built after great pains were taken to draw the attention of the government towards it but the JI tried to ruin the road as soon as it was constructed,” he lamented, criticising the political party.

Public transport drivers to get lectures on road safety

Former mayor and Pak Sarzameen Party Chairperson Mustafa Kamal also criticised the JI and said that they were asking people to open their fasts with them but were destroying roads in the process.

On Sunday evening, former JI MPA Yunus Barai took initiative and filled the four holes on the newly built road after the party received strong criticism on social media.

“We have made efforts for the [construction of] University Road and we fixed it because we own this city and every street of Karachi,” he said.

Karachi Development Authority Assistant Engineer Kamran Arshad, who is in charge of repairing damaged roads, told The Express Tribune that he was unaware of any such incident in which main University Road was damaged. However, he said that an FIR could be filed by concerned residents if they suspected anyone of being involved in damaging the road, after consulting with the project manager of the newly built road.

University Road construction completed after almost six months

JI Spokesperson Zahid Askari told The Express Tribune that holes made due to pegs are not that big but regardless the holes have been filled by their party member. “We take care not to damage public property and feel it is our responsibility to clean those places after any activity [by our party],” he added.

Askari remarked that since there are no designated places to carry out such activities they set up camp on the newly built road.

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Reader Comments (3)

  • Asim Jaleel
    Jun 13, 2017 - 12:11PM

    No party or individual should be allowed to hold events on the roads. Islam has prohibited to create hardships for others. Road blockage to arrange political or religious events should not be allowed by the government. There are designated places for that.Recommend

    Jun 13, 2017 - 3:37PM

    Who allowed JI to dig the road for setting their camp for Iftar party should be brought into task and if they did it without any permission then legal action is must against Jamat-e-Islami for damaging the govt property. This is why JI failed to obtain public support and vote as they damages others properties in the name of religion. Interestingly the area police and KDA officials who were unaware about all such things in their area should also be investigated as it is the matter of public interest who suffered for more than five months for the construction of the University road.Recommend

  • rustam
    Jun 14, 2017 - 11:41AM

    What I read in the news is that four tent pegs were nailed into the road’s surface for the camp. Later, all the holes were filled by the organizers, themselves.
    However, the news headline talks of defacing of the road. Opponents got chance to criticize the happening out of proportion.
    Should not the newspaper make headline that reflect the real situation and opponents’ reaction be of the level that the circumstances warrants?
    No surprise that we do not believe in fair deals.Recommend

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