KARACHI: In what turned out to be a massive show of strength, the Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP)'s public meeting at the Bagh-e-Jinnah ground on Sunday put to rest any speculations about the party's future, securing its place as a key player in Karachi's political landscape.
Addressing a packed ground on Sunday evening, PSP president Syed Mustafa Kamal lambasted the provincial government for not providing basic amenities to the public even after a decade of ruling the province. "I was a supporter of the 18th Amendment but the Sindh government has failed to take any steps to provide relief to the public so I reject any such amendment," said Kamal. "I do not support any such amendment, whereby my children cannot get potable water, education and health facilities," he added.
The PSP chairperson said that Pakistan Peoples Party chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari spoke of saving the very 18th Amendment, under which the Sindh chief minister had kept the authority to lift garbage from the city to himself. "The provincial government has spent Rs1,000 billion on education in the last decade, but the education sector is in a very bad shape," said Kamal. He added that if the provincial government had devolved powers to the local government, other parties would have supported the PPP's efforts to safeguard the 18th Amendment.
Kamal implored the Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa to save the people of Sindh, who were dying. "Whenever there is an earthquake, flood or natural calamity, the army plays its role [in rescue services]. I request Army chief General Bajwa to save the people of Sindh," he said.
The PSP chairperson called on his supporters and the general public to raise their voice against injustice. "We made Karachi; now, we will make Pakistan," he told the participants. "This cannot go on like this," said Kamal. "We will all come out on the streets. If we must die, we will die together."
Earlier, the party president, Anis Kaimkhani, in his address to the rally, said that the people of Hyderabad had won the semi-final but the people of Karachi had won the final. He was referring to the PSP's rally in Hyderabad on March 23, earlier this year, which marked the party's third foundation day.
"The people of Karachi have shown their support for Mustafa Kamal," said Kaimkhani. "They support progress. They have rejected change and politics of ethnicity," he said, referring to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf's slogan of change.
Aasia Ishaque, a member of the party's national council, said that the PSP has proved its popularity among the city's denizens by pulling such a large crowd. "Mustafa Kamal is a national level leader," she said, adding that the people of Karachi would have to support Kamal to improve their situation. She said that the rally was a referendum which had proved that the people were with the PSP.
The joint-secretary of the party's Central Executive Committee, Bilqees Mukhtar, said that people must struggle for their rights. "Karachiites have no access to clean potable water. Only the PSP can help you get your rights," she said.
PSP's joint secretary Ataullah Kurd said the party is surviving despite the negative propaganda against it. "I salute the people of Karachi for supporting Mustafa Kamal and Anis Kaimkhani by participating in this rally in such large numbers," he said.