Rocky welcome for Bilawal in PPP ‘stronghold’

Several injured as mob pelts stones on Bilawal’s caravan


Mudaser Kazi July 01, 2018
Bilalwal Bhutto Zardari in Lyari. PHOTO: EXPRESS

KARACHI: Several PPP workers and passers-by were injured and Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari’s convoy was re-routed after a mob resorted to stone pelting in a Lyari locality as the scion of the Bhutto dynasty launched his party’s election campaign on Sunday.

Protesters -- mostly youngsters -- stopped the rally in Bihar Colony and attacked the vehicles with sticks and stones, smashing the windows of several vehicles.

Bilawal’s convoy, on its way to Agra Taj Colony, was stuck at Joona Masjid for half-an-hour as the police and PPP workers failed to calm the protesters. The mob was shouting ‘Go Bilawal Go’.

Subsequently, the police intervened and re-routed the convoy to an area bordering Chakiwara, Cheel Chowk, and Ghanchi Para, which are considered to be PPP strongholds where supporters warmly welcomed Bilawal.

Shops and businesses in the area were shut down.



 

Lyari as a whole is considered to be one of PPP’s strongholds in Karachi. Bilawal is contesting the elections from NA-246 Lyari.

According to the original plan, he was supposed to visit various areas in the metropolis as part of his party’s election campaign.

PPP spokesperson Senator Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar said elements that always resorted to violence tried to stop the rally, but they failed. According to him, the PPP would always respond to violence with political currency.

“We ask the local administration, police and Rangers to play a positive role and demand of the election commission to take notice of the situation created by PPP’s political rivals,” he said.

Khokhar reiterated that if violence under a planned conspiracy is not stopped, it would lead to chaos. If violent elements are not controlled, the administration will bear all responsibility, he added.

Bilawal kicks off election campaign from Karachi

“This is the first election and I am contesting from Lyari. The people of Lyari always supported my mother Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto and I know they will support me too. I intend to complete my mother’s mission,” Bilawal asserted from the roof of his vehicle.

PPP supporters warmly welcomed his speech and shouted ‘Wazir-e-Azam Bilawal’ (Prime Minister Bilawal).

 





The PPP, Bilawal said, had a revolutionary manifesto. “I know your problems and only PPP can solve them,” he maintained.



Senator Sherry Rehman also spoke to the crowd.

She said that the PPP rejected the antics of just 25 people who resorted to violence near a Rangers’ picket in Lyari.

“After witnessing the outpouring of support for Bilawal, our rivals are shaken.”

“Such tactics will not deter the PPP’s caravan and its leader is under the protection of the people of Lyari who will shield their leader from all rogue elements,” she said.

A large number of PPP supporters had joined the rally of Bilawal, she said.

PPP vows to debate defence budget in parliament

Among others, Bilawal was also accompanied by PPP stalwarts such as former chief minister Murad Ali Shah, Nabil Gabol, Saeed Ghani and Waqar Mehdi.

Road campaign

Bilawal initiated the party’s first-ever such election campaign since his mother led such a drive in 2007. He will visit rural areas of Sindh before entering the southern Punjab region.

His first stay will be at Hyderabad before visiting Nawabshah and Sukkur on Wednesday.

During the campaign, the PPP chairman intends to address the party’s voters and visit various shrines dotting on his route.

On Thursday, Bilawal will go to the southern Punjab region before marching on to other areas in the country.

According to Sherry Rehman, the PPP campaign would help galvanise public support for the party’s candidates.

This campaign, she said, had been launched after a gap of more than a decade as the party opted not to launch an election campaign before the 2013 elections because of threats from extremist elements.

Bilawal’s caravan resumed its journey after the disruption. However, it met another unusual occurrence on Jumma Baloch Road when a stray bullet hit one of the members of the squad.

The injured, named Yahya, is reportedly the nephew of PPP’s area in charge Khalid Haut. In the aftermath of Lyari protest, a PPP flag was also set ablaze by an angry mob.

The FIR of the rioting was registered on the complaint of SHO Abdul Ghaffar Sindho at the Kalri police station. According to Senator Khokhar, Bilawal's convoy returned to the area where it was attacked after passing through different areas of Lyari. This time it was warmly welcomed.



Senator Khokhar regretted that after the unpleasant incident, the electronic media stopped the coverage of Bilawal's rally which is quite shocking. "The media appears to be running only anti-PPP stories," he said.



The PPP termed Bilawal's Lyrai visit a huge success where supporters came out in droves to get a glimpse of their leader which shows their love for the party.





Senator Khokhar said that the media was apparently obsessed with the "Ladla party" while other parties were not being given the coverage they deserve. Though he didn't name the "Ladla party" but he was referring to Imran Khan's PTI.

 

COMMENTS (2)

UJ | 5 years ago | Reply More public shaming for these corrupt politicians please.
Zaarwer | 5 years ago | Reply Finally a good deed by Liyari people.
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