KARACHI: The people of Sindh should not get involved in this fight between the Pakistan Peoples Party and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), urged Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz’s Sukkur division president, Ghulam Mustafa Phulpoto.
“In their race to rule the province, the PPP and MQM have cost many innocents their lives,” he said, as violence broke out in major cities over Zulfiqar Mirza’s statements against the MQM. He added that since Karachi was the capital of Sindh, it should not be governed by outsiders.
According to Phulpoto, the PPP always uses the Sindh card to attain power but once they are part of the government they forget about the Sindhis.
“Both parties want to have a stronghold in Sindh. The MQM should have a talk with Zulfiqar Mirza and discuss the matter. Just because of one statement so many people have died and the entire economy is suffering,” he said.
After Dr Zulfiqar Mirza’s statements were made Wednesday night, violence erupted in Hyderabad, Sukkur and other parts of Sindh.
The protests began late night and protestors rallied on the streets for all of Thursday. The divisional commissioner of Hyderabad, Aftab Khatri, told the police and rangers to arrest all those people who were creating trouble.
The police announced that they had arrested 18 miscreants. However, reportedly, when the police heard aerial firing from specific areas, they turned their backs on it.
Police and rangers were deployed in various parts of the cities to maintain a sense of security. In spite of this, protestors burnt tyres at Haider Chowk, Gaari Khaata, Pucca Qilla, Heerabad, Liberty Chowk and Latifabad. Moreover they blocked traffic by creating barricades across the city.
They chanted slogans against Dr Zulfiqar Mirza, and burnt effigies of him that they had created. Even women and children were part of the processions from Hyderabad and Qasimabad.
A few unidentified men entered Makhi Baag Tala ab No. 3 and began to fire indiscriminately, injuring three men. Their ages were 25, 27 and 32. A woman, identified as Rani, was also injured in Katcha Qilla. The wounded were taken to Civil hospital.
Qasimabad also experienced a complete lack of business, from banks and petrol pumps to medical stores, everything remained closed.
Inter-province transport services were not working and consequently people who needed to get to other cities or hospitals had to travel on foot for many kilometres.
In Sanghar, activists organised a rally from the Muttahida Qaumi Movement zonal office to the press club, where they staged a demonstration. Akhtar Mughal, Riaz Chohan, Abdul Jabbar Yousufzai and others said that Sindhis and Mohajirs were brothers, they condemned Mirza’s remarks and denied that the MQM had ever spoken about the division of Sindh.
Additional input from PPI