SUKKUR/HYDERABAD: Irked by what they believe to be an unchecked influx of internally displaced persons (IDPs) from North Waziristan to Sindh, nationalist parties observed a strike across the province on Tuesday.
The strike was organised by the Sindh Bachayo Committee, an informal confederacy of the Sindhi nationalist parties.
Members of nationalist parties, including the Sindh United Party, Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz (JSQM), Jeay Sindh Tehreek and others organised protests in Ghotki and Larkana. In Mirpur Mathelo, a partial strike was observed in the morning and a score of nationalists staged a sit-in at the Mirpur Mathelo bypass for an hour, suspending the traffic between Sindh and Punjab.
Moreover, shutters were down in Shikarpur, Khairpur, Kashmore, Naushahro Feroze and Dadu.
The nationalists have been upset with the government since the IDP movement started. From July 9 to July 15, they held protests and blocked roads to stop IDPs from entering the province.
Markets and schools were closed in Hyderabad, Mirpurkhas, Bhanbore and Nawabshah. The inter-province transport was suspended in the morning.
Sindh Bachayo Committee leader Jalal Mehmood Shah, led the sit-in on Hyderabad Bypass which connects Karachi to upcountry. Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz’s president Dr Niaz Kalani, JSQM Arisar group’s Mir Alam Mari and others also attended the sit-in which lasted for around two hours.
The chief minister (CM) of Sindh,Qaim Ali Shah, has declared the strike as useless and harmful for Sindh. “They are causing hundreds of billions of rupees loss by shutting down the whole province,” he said while speaking at a press conference in Hyderabad on Monday.
According to the CM, he held a meeting with the Army, Rangers, police and intelligence officials before the military operation Zarb-e-Azb started in North Waziristan. “I told them clearly that Sindh can no longer afford migrants from other parts of the country,” he said. “The province’s resources are shrinking and the population is rising thanks to the migrants.” He added that he was the first to raise his voice against the IDPs while the nationalist leaders were ‘sleeping’. He said that his government had setup relief camps for the IDPs and added that IDPs are asked to take shelter at the camps or return to K-P.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 23rd, 2014.
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