Support for Sindh Peoples Local Government Ordinance, 2012 brought a ripple of terror to many Sindh Assembly members of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) on Tuesday.
The Sindhu Desh Liberation Army, which has hitherto restricted itself to attacking empty railway tracks and branches of the National Bank, zeroed in on the MPAs homes.
The residences of provincial ministers Agha Siraj Durrani, Ayaz Soomro and Speaker Sindh Assembly Nisar Ahmed Khuhro were targeted on Tuesday in Garhi Yasin and Larkana.
Meanwhile, an IED exploded at the residence of MPA Imdad Pitafi in Hyderabad while two similar devices were defused in MPA Mir Hayat Talpur’s house in Mirpurkhas and MPA Faseeh Shah’s in Shaheed Benazirabad.
As more MPAs were threatened with hoax calls and rumours, the police evacuated the houses of culture minister Sassui Palijo, MPA Humera Alwani and MPA Rukhsana Shah in Thatta.
Sindhi nationalists have categorically denied their involvement in the attacks on PPP leaders’ houses and properties in Sindh and called it a conspiracy hatched by PPP-led government to “undermine” their struggle against new local government system.
According to reports, unidentified men hurled a hand grenade at the residence of Sindh minister for local government, Agha Siraj Durrani in Garhi Yasin early Tuesday morning. It exploded near the main gate of the house, but no casualty or injury was reported.
Durrani termed the incident a cowardly act and said that such attacks were aimed at preventing the PPP from holding a public rally in Hyderabad planned for October 15.
A bomb was also found near the residence of Sindh minister for law, Ayaz Soomro, in Shaikh Zaid Colony. Reports said that someone had thrown a bomb packed in a plastic bag in Soomro’s house which his employee then reported to police. After receiving the information, police and bomb disposal officials rushed to the scene and took the bomb into their custody.
Head Constable Ashiq Hussain Weesar of the bomb disposal squad told The Express Tribune that the bomb was of local origin and weighed about one and half pounds. The main wires of the bomb, he added, were not connected, and thus it couldn’t have exploded.
A Sindhu Desh Liberation Army pamphlet was found with the bomb. Pamphlets were also found from Pitafi’s home and other MPAs homes.
Elsewhere, a man was arrested while planting a bomb outside the house of Speaker Sindh Assembly Nisar Ahmed Khuhro in Rehmatpur Muhalla. Khuhro’s guard saw the man planting the bomb and handed him over to the police. According to reports, police have shifted the man to an undisclosed location and refused to disclose his identity
“We don’t want to fight against anyone, but our gentleness should not be taken as weakness. On October 15 we will hold a historic public gathering in Hyderabad to prove that the people are with the PPP,” said Sindh Minister for Information Sharjeel Inam Memon
The bomb at Pitafi’s house damaged windows of a room where his two cousins were staying but no one was hurt.
“Sindh is a land of Sufis but these people want to make it a hotbed of terrorism,” said Pitafi. However, he stopped short of blaming the nationalist leaders who are leading protests against the Sindh Peoples Law Ordinance.
IEDs were also found at MPA Mir Hayat Talpur’s home and outside the residence of MPA Faseeh Shah. Both were defused by the bomb disposal squad.
Addressing a press conference at Hyder Manzil on Tuesday Jalal Mehmood Shah, convenor, Sindh Bachayoo Committee (an alliance of Sindhi nationalist parties), said they have started peaceful campaign against the new local government system and have nothing to do with cracker attacks against PPP leaders.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 10th, 2012.