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PPP defers January 30 protest sit-in at Karachi Press Club

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Sindh Information and Labour Minister, Saeed Ghani, has said that although an unpleasant incident took place outside the Chief Minister House the previous day but the fact of the matter was that the police was left with no option but to take action against the protestors for the sake of prestige and dignity of the country that was at stake for rest of the world.

Speaking at a press conference here at Sindh Assembly’s committee room on Thursday, the Sindh Information Minister said that a well thought-out plan had been behind the unpleasant incident of the previous day to create negative repercussions for the international players participating in the Pakistan Super League matches.

He said that Muttahida Quami Movement had the plan to spread the ethnic divide in Karachi as the recent statements of the MQM leaders were a testament to this fact.

He informed media persons that MQM had announced to take out a protest rally from Sharea Faisal to hold a demonstration at the Karachi Press Club on Wednesday as the Opposition party had been in touch with the city’s administration with regard to their agitation plan.

He said the city’s administration kept on facilitating the movement of the protest rally from Sharea Faisal till Metropole intersection where it reached at 4 pm as later it had to move towards the Press Club as per the original protest plan.

The participants of the rally abruptly decided to move towards the CM House, he said.

Saeed Ghani said the Deputy Commissioner of District South and other senior police officials informed the MQM leaders Wasim Akhtar and Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui that area in the surroundings of the CM House had been declared a high-security zone owing to the presence of international cricket players lodging in the nearby hotels. The administration advised the leaders of MQM to stick to their original protest plan and go to Press Club for staging the demonstration, he said.

He said the rally’s participants didn’t pay heed to the advice of the administration as they crossed the obstacles at the Metropole and reached outside the CM House.

“What other option was then available to us as a PSL team present in the vicinity had to come outside the hotel and go for practice but players didn’t go anywhere due to the resultant situation,” he added.

He said the incident that happened outside the CM House the previous day was indeed unpleasant as it didn’t bode well for the Sindh government.

He said the provincial government had to ensure the security of the area around CM House given the presence of international players in the nearby hotels as the image of the country for the outside world was at stake.

He also recalled the statement of Interior Minister, Sheikh Rasheed, that the overall law and order situation of the country was not satisfactory.

The Information Minister said the police as the last resort had to take the action to disperse the protestors. He said the MPA of MQM, Sadaqat Hussain, along with fellow party members used sticks to beat the policemen.

He said it was imperative that the police should have honourably treated the woman protestors but MQM was in the habit of using female followers of the party and children as its shield on such occasions.

He said the deceased activist of MQM, Aslam, had died due to cardiac arrest as police torture didn’t result in his death.

He said the deceased MQM’s worker had been first taken by his family to Karachi Institute of Heart Diseases as later on he was taken to NICVD where doctors pronounced him dead.

He said that the deceased MQM’s worker should have been taken to the nearby Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre or Civil Hospital, had he sustained injuries outside CM House.

Saeed Ghani appealed to the bereaved family of the MQM’s worker to allow a post-mortem examination of his body to determine the exact cause of his death.

He also told media persons that the Pakistan People’s Party had decided to postpone its upcoming protest sit-in outside Karachi Press Club on January 30 due to the sensitive security situation of the city owing to the PSL matches.

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