Residents, political parties march for peace in Orangi

After a week of bloodshed in Orangi, residents and political parties joined hands and rode motorcycles in solidarity.


Fawad Shah August 08, 2010

KARACHI: After a week of bloodshed in Orangi, residents and political parties joined hands and rode motorcycles in solidarity on Sunday.

Leaders and workers of the Awami National Party (ANP), the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) held a peace rally, asking people to bring an end to target killings. “We are brothers,” participants chanted as they marched from the Katti Pahari to Orangi.

It is high time that peace returns to these areas, said Ameer Gul, the West district office-bearer of the ANP. “We want people to believe that they can go to shops without any fear, and send their children to school,” he added. However, he admitted that it will take time for people to regain their trust in one another.

Motorcycle ban lifted

The rally was held a few hours after a protest turned violent in the same area.

After Saturday night’s target killing in the area, the Sindh government slammed a ban on riding on a motorcycle in the area. Outraged at the ban residents held a protest on Sunday morning, during which six people were injured.

Starting their protest from Orangi Road, participants marched to the SP office in the area and demanded that the ban be lifted. They shouted slogans against the CCPO Karachi Waseem Ahmed and Home Minister Dr Zulfiqar Mirza and asked that both officials should be removed from their posts. They lamented that Orangi was the only area where law enforcement agencies had failed to maintain law and order.

Some of the protesters started pelting stones and vandalising property at which a contingent of police and Rangers sent to the site started aerial firing to bring the situation under control. At least six people, including 28-year-old Irfan, 18-year-old Faysal, 20-year-old Saleem, 15-year-old Chand Babu, 32-year-old Ameen and 18-year-old Asadullah were injured in the firing. Law enforcers termed the injuries accidental while protesters claimed police and Rangers had fired straight at them.

The injured were shifted to Qatar hospital for treatment. Hospital officials said that Asadullah sustained a bullet in his head and was in a critical condition while Saleem has not regained consciousness yet.

After the protest, a notification from the Sindh Home Ministry was issued, saying that the ban has been lifted on the request of a peace committee and police, Rangers and other law enforcement agencies concerned have been informed about the development.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 9th, 2010.

COMMENTS (5)

Sher Zaman | 11 years ago | Reply It is an important realization, both from the people and the political parties; peace is necessary and it can’t be achieved until all the stakeholders get down solving the issues.
Mansoor Khalid | 11 years ago | Reply Responsible citizens involve themselves sin such activities and try to give out a message of peace and harmony to all in times of despair. Great job!
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