Political rhetoric: PML-N blames provincial govt for Lyari ‘crisis’

The party leadership urges MQM to stop pressuring businessmen.

Our Correspondent July 21, 2013
“By making Lyari unstable, people with vested interests are able to fulfill their ulterior motives,” Salim Zia said. PHOTO: NNI

KARACHI: The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz has termed the Lyari issue as a failure on the part of the provincial government to maintain law and order in the city. PML-N Sindh chapter president, Saleem Zia, expressed these views in a press conference at the Karachi Press Club, on Sunday. 

The party’s elected representatives in the Sindh Assembly, Irfanullah Marwat, Haji Shafi Muhammad Jamot and Humayun Muhammad Khan, were also present at the event.

Zia alleged that it was not just the issue of extortion which had triggered a bloody war in Lyari. “By making Lyari unstable, people with vested interests are able to fulfill their ulterior motives,” he said. “The businesses, through the port, are disturbed, the medicine market is disturbed, the transportation of raw material is halted, the industrial area is in trouble, Balochistan is disconnected with Karachi and Pakistan’s largest airbase, PAF Base Masroor, is directly affected if the law and order situation in Lyari is out of control,” he explained.

“The federal government is ready to assist the Sindh government, if it asks,” said Marwat. “There are no prospects of governor rule in Sindh. We respect the people’s mandate and don’t plan to interfere in the matters of the provincial government, however, it is the prime responsibility of the Sindh government to ensure security to its citizens,” he asserted.

The PML-N leaders also criticised the Sindh government’s idea to construct walls in the disputed areas of Lyari. “The government needs to bulldoze walls of hatred but it plans to build walls to divide communities. It is an unacceptable solution. We condemn such ideas,” said Zia.

Business communities

Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan is expected to arrive in Karachi today (Monday) and will meet officials of the provincial government to discuss the prevailing law and order situation. Khan is also expected to meet Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leadership. The party leaders, albeit, warned the MQM to stop threatening traders and business communities in the city.

“Businessmen are being forced to sign affidavits by the MQM. The MQM should immediately stop such pressure tactics,” Zia demanded. He elaborated that the MQM was pressuring businessmen to sign affidavits to be submitted in London as evidence in the money laundering case against its party chief, Altaf Hussain. “The traders and businessmen are under immense pressure as they are being asked for extortions, Zakat and Fitra.”

On the issue of changing of Sindh governor, the PMl-N leaders said that the issue would be tackled after the presidential election. “If the governor resigns, the federal government will appoint a new one but he’ll be replaced after the elections,” said Marwat.

The PML-N leaders demanded of the provincial government to seriously look into matters of the city and resolve them immediately.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 22nd, 2013.


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