Chanting anti-government slogans, political party workers from Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz, Jeay Sindh Qaumi Tehreek, Sindh Taraqi Pasand Party, Sindh National Front, Awami Tehreek and Sindh United Party staged protests, sit-ins and organised rallies throughout rural Sindh on Monday.
The government has gone back on their word to appease their collation partner, they said.
For many people in the province, the reinstatement of the local government system is being looked upon as a conspiracy to divide Sindh. A complete shutter-down strike was observed in parts of upper Sindh, including Sukkur, Rohri, Pannu Aqil, Ghotki and Kandhkot.
The police arrested more than 150 political workers on Monday, 10 of them were detained for further questioning.
In Sukkur, traffic was thin as most business centres were shut. Political workers spoke out against the government and marched through the city, carrying wooden sticks. Witnesses claim that they forced shops to shut. They added that some protesters injured a policeman in a fight and were arrested.
The situation in Thul was similar, where political workers marched through the city and staged a protest outside the press club. An effigy of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader and the former federal law minister Babar Awan was also burnt. Protesters in Mirpur Mathelo led by Jeay Sindh Tehreek leaders Fakir Ramzan Kalwar and Syed Lal Shah burnt tyres along Bhittai Chowk. They also burnt an effigy of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement leader Altaf Hussain. Nationalist leaders accused the PPP of implementing the local government system in order to stay in power.
In Kashmore, activists marched through the town and staged a sit-in for more than an hour. Their protest caused a massive inter-province traffic jam.
A shutter-down strike was held in Tando Adam. Business centres, including Shahi Bazaar, Mumbai Bazaar, Jinnah Chowk, Chatri Chowk, Bairani Road, Shahdadpur Road, Latif Gate, Kali Road, Joharabad, Juman Shah and Lohar Gali were closed.
Protests seep into urban Sindh
The decision to remove the commissionerate system in Hyderabad and Karachi and to reinstate the local government system all over Sindh was met with as much hostility as the decision to revive the system less than a month ago.
Sindhi-dominated areas of Karachi observed a complete shutter-down strike.
After their decision to revive the local government system in Karachi in Hyderabad was seen as a ruse to divide and conquer, the government decided to place the whole province under the old local government system on Sunday night. However, their justifications fell on deaf ears.
Bin Qasim Town, Pipri, Steel Town, Ittehad Town, Khadda Market, Agra Taj Colony, Maripur, Bihar Colony and Gulistan-e-Jauhar remained tense as a passenger bus was set on fire in Mobina Town and series of gun shots were exchanged between unidentified men on Sunday. People even went as far as hoisting black flags on their houses.
The police claim that the strike was made successful by unidentified armed men who indulged in intense rounds of aerial firing. Two passenger buses were set on fire in the Mauripur area by unidentified men while another was burnt in Gulistan-e-Jauhar on Monday. The protesters burnt tyres and blocked traffic for several hours. The National Highway reopened after successful negotiations between the authorities and protesters.
This was first such reaction by the people of Sindh against the Pakistan People Party (PPP) and the leadership’s decision.
In many towns, enraged people set effigies of PPP ministers and elected representatives on fire and held demonstrations in front of their houses. There were reports that elected representatives fled their areas, given the reaction of people in their constituencies.
“The decision of government to have a separate system in Karachi and Hyderabad from the rest of the province is not tolerable,” declared Sindh Tarraqi Passand Party Vice-President Ali Hassan Chandio.
The uprising does not appear to be a short disgruntlement - nationalist leaders appear ready to continue the campaign till the government restores the old local government system along with commissionerate system. “The Sindh Assembly has passed two bills to restore the system,” said Chandio, “but some government ministers want to appease the MQM by implementing separate systems in both the cities.”
In Hyderabad, Awami Tehreek workers carried effigies of the PPP leaders on funeral pyres in a symbolic gesture of the death of their obedience. “It symbolises the end of the silent acceptance of PPP decisions on behalf of the people,” said a protester.
With additional reporting by Faraz Khan, Z Ali, Hafeez Tunio and ppi
Published in The Express Tribune, August 9th, 2011.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ
It is the LG system that is so suitable for the dynamic, progressive cities of Karachi and Hyderabad. Let Karachi be an example for others and they can enjoy this big city of lights.. . . .it is for every one to enjoy!
Your behaviour is not uncommon, it is quite common with paranoia-stricken "Majority of Karachiites". One can understand the trauma this "Majority of Karachiites" went through on "legitimate ground".
So "Neatsy and Cleansy" you don't speak of the gerrymanderism resorted to under the garb of LG. Or perhaps that too is on "legitimate ground", as always? But let's not at all call it biased!
@ Asad Jahadad , need you had to pass your two cents ? The query's aparture was ET and on legitimate ground .
"The decision to remove the commissionerate system in Hyderabad and Karachi and to reinstate the local government system all over Sindh was met with as much hostility as the decision to revive the system less than a month ago."
All over Sindh ???? was this just a slip of pen ?
Yes my suffix might depict my affiliation , but what dya have to say about the above phrasing of the this journalist .
The Majority of Karachiites are in favor of LG .Neatsy and Cleansy..... Oh my bad , you dont consider Karachi in "All over Sindh " .Right ?
Now that the Local Bodies are back in place, can we see their elections soon. There is no point in having this system if its going to be run by 'Appointees' as it has for quite a few years now.
ET is reporting what is going on in the country. That's why it's called a "news report" or "news" if you understand the two words. The very suffix in your name can tell anyone who's mouthpiece you are. So, stop blaming ET. And stop this hate-mongering at once.
Your comment seems to imply that media should not give space to what is not in accordance with "your" political following even if it is "news" or "an account of what is happening in the country".
ET should be selective on the kinds of comments they put online.
The writing is biased , clearly favoring the writers personal favorites and more like a piece from the Jiye Sindhs mouthpiece .
ET should be selctive on its staff .
People do not even understand. They are just a mob controlled by their political masters. They dont even understand the benefits of this dynamic system. This is called being ignorant. Does not make any sense to oppose a sound and modern system which empowers the people with the true spirit of democracy. Why on earth any one would like to live under an old colonial system? For starters, Karachi and Hyderabad are the best candidates for this LG type of system and other cities can follow their example if they so wish.
The Sindhi nationalists are revealing their shortage of intelligence. The LG system is a more modern system than the colonial system. They should call for decentralized cities in all cities of the interior. That is their best chance for creating dynamic regions. The rural areas' prospects are limited since there are no ag taxes.
PPP is losing its vote bank in Sindh.
its pashtoon and sindh vs mohajirs lets c who wins.