KARACHI: Angered by the action of Rangers on Monday night, Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz chief Dr Safdar Sarki has demanded the immediate withdrawal of the paramilitary force from Sindh which he said is “devouring millions of rupees for nothing.”
Addressing a press conference here at the Karachi Press Club on Tuesday evening, he said his entourage was intercepted by the Rangers on the pretext of checking for weapons being carried by his guards. He said that the caravan was moving from Safoora Chowrangi to Machhar Colony where a public meeting was planned on Monday night in a build-up to a “million-man march” on March 18 as announced by his party.
“We cooperated with the Rangers squad, surrendered our weapons for checking and verification, produced licences and permits issued to us under section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code but we were forced to wait for half an hour,” he said.
“The area is dominated by Sindhis and people after recognizing me started to gather. As the crowd was growing, additional force was called and then we were asked to accompany them to a post near Safoora Chowrangi. When the vehicles crossed the chowrangi and moved on towards the cantonment area, we were informed that we were being taken to Rangers headquarters on the Super Highway,” he said. They were taken to a room and made to wait.
“After a long wait and thanks to the immediate reaction from people of Sindh, my party, other nationalist leaders and media reports that they were forced to free us,” he said.
Criticising the Rangers performance, Dr Sarki said that hundreds of people have been killed in Karachi in just previous six months and thousands since the force was called to Karachi and Sindh.
“Billions of rupees are going waste on their deployment and other facilities provided to them but law and order has gone from bad to worse despite giving them extraordinary powers. We demand their immediate withdrawal,” Dr Sarki said.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 29th, 2012.