Opposition leader designate Raza Haroon of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) in the Sindh Assembly, has said that the dispute between the Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) management and unions has caused much suffering over the last three months.
"The people of the city are not at the mercy of a few hundred agitators," he said. "The MQM should not allow these few hundred agitators to hold Karachi hostage. The MQM believes that every citizen has a right to protest and the MQM has always supported peaceful protests for a just cause but it would not stay silent if the protest turns violent."
He warned both the union and the KESC management that they should oust the agitators from their lines and take steps to provide the people relief, failing which the MQM would exercise all means to set things right.
He was talking to the media outside the Sindh Assembly after the session.
Haroon termed the meeting of the union leaders with the governor a step towards resolving the dispute, however, both the management and the workers should bear in mind that they should amicably resolve their internal disputes by the July 25 deadline.
He said that even though the MQM is the biggest stakeholder in the city, it has never intervened in the internal disputes of the KESC and it still is keeping away.
On the other hand, it seemed as if the union and the management were not prepared to move forward. In a statement issued on Friday, KESC levelled charges against the union workers for obstructing work. It expressed disappointment in the union for refusing to give free access to offices, service and operational centres and the central supply store despite a firm commitment given to the governor and other officials of the province.
For its part, the union said that KESC was still trying to defame the workers with fake allegations, said Peoples Workers Union general secretary Lateef Mughal. He said that the union leaders had offered unconditional support to the provincial authority against any impediments over three days and they had given their cell phone numbers to the commissioner and administrator, Muhammad Hussein Syed, for an immediate response in any obstruction.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 23rd, 2011.
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