KARACHI: The Muttahida Qaumi Movement on Sunday has staged a protest demonstration against the Sindh Local Government Ordinance (Amended) 2013, saying that it aimed to divide the urban and rural population of Sindh.
Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, MQM's Rabita Committee Deputy was addressing the protesters on Sunday.
He said his party would not accept the SPLGO. "Some people say the MQM should boycott the elections. We want to make it clear to them that we will take part in the elections. If we fail to do so then others won't be able to participate in the elections too."
Siddiqui said the government had conspired to divide Sindh by the passage of this black law. "They are trying to drive wedge between the urban and rural Sindh. If they succeed in doing so, it would be difficult to bring the two together," he said.
Karachi, he said, contributed 99% of Sindh's budget, which if stopped; even electricity bills would remain unpaid. He warned the people who had passed this bill.
Siddiqui added that democracy was incomplete without local governments. "The Article 140-A of the constitution says the local government should have financial, political and administrative powers and autonomous," he said. "We will continue the protests till power is devolved to the local government." He demanded to repeal the "black law" else protests would not stop.
Siddiqui was also critical of the ongoing Karachi Operation. "We demanded an operation against criminals; however, the operation is not being conducted in the right spirit. If they compel us to come out on the streets, we would do so," he said. "This is the beginning not the end of our struggle."
He said Muttahida did not wish to have confrontation, but would fight on principle. "We represent Urban Sindh and if we are unable to achieve things inside the assemblies, we will come out on the roads," he said.
"Today's protest is against the Black Law by the people of Sindh and MQM. They want to impose a draconian system of oppression on us. Honourable and democracy loving people of Sindh will not accept this system and law," said MQM leader Haider Abbas Rizvi. He said Mohajirs, too, were the sons of Sindh who can demand equal rights and share in the resources on the basis of population.
MQM's Rabita Committee member Dr Saghir Ahmed said a conspiracy was being hatched to snatch the MQM mandate, which would be foiled.
Sindh Local Government Act 2013, he said, was the usurpation of people's rights. "MQM talks about the political rights of common men, and are protesting against a law which is meant to snatch the resources of local governments," he said.
MQM's Deputy Parliamentary Leader in the Sindh Assembly Khwaja Izharul Hassan also reiterated to continue protests until the law was declared null and void. Pakistan Muslim League (N) leader Abdur Razak Raho also addressed the gathering.
Thousands of elders, young, women and parliamentarians belonging to the MQM attended the protest demonstration.
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