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    Sunday, 14 May 2017

    PSP million march: Police arrest Mustafa Kamal, other leaders

    A heavy contingent of police resorted to baton charge and shelling to disperse hundreds of Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) activists on Sunday as they tried to march towards the Chief Minister House after the negotiations between PSP and the ruling PPP party ended without the parties reaching any consensus.
    Police arrested PSP chief Mustafa Kamal and other leaders
    Police also arrested several party leaders, including PSP chairman Mustafa Kamal, Raza Haroon, Anees Qaimkhani and Dr Sagheer, besides scores of party activists. Participants of the march abandoned the road and reassembled themselves near FTC bridge, South Punjab News reported.
    Earlier, the negotiations between leaders of PSP and PPP ended without the parties reaching any consensus, as the PSP was insistent to march towards the red zone in Karachi but the Sindh government was reluctant to let them do so.
    Hundreds of PSP activists had gathered at Shahrah-e-Faisal near FTC bridge after the provincial government imposed Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) in Karachi's Red Zone on Sunday ahead of an announced march of the PSP to the Chief Minister House.
    A view of 'million march' organised by PSP. —Online
    A view of 'million march' organised by PSP. —Online
    The PSP delegation which held talks with the ruling PPP leaders was led by Raza Haroon.
    The leaders of the protesting PSP kept announcing that they will march towards the Red Zone, however, law enforcement personnel erected barricades on all roads leading to the chief minister and governor houses.

    Nisar condemns use of force against citizens

    Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar reacted to the development and said that the Constitution ensures the provision of holding all types of political gatherings, South Punjab News reported.
    He condemned the use of power against protesters and said that the provincial government was showing ignorance to the issues of Karachi and resorted to torture against those demanding their rights. "Use of force against peaceful political gathering is quite illogical," he said.

    PPP acted when govt’s writ was challanged, says Shehla Raza

    PPP leader Shehla Raza, while talking to South Punjab News, defended the provincial government's move saying PSP workers were repeatedly asked “to refrain from entering the Red Zone as it was an illegal activity.”
    She, however, said PPP believes in democratic rights of the people and works accordingly. She further said that
    “The protesters were initially approached to hold a dialogue regarding their demands, but when they challenged the writ of the government the due action was taken against them,” she maintained.
    While responding to the statement made by the interior minister, Shehla Raza mentioned that the government only used water cannon unlike the actions of the incumbent PML-N government in Punjab.
    She bluntly compared the recent development with the Model Town tragedy, where police had resorted to live firing, which had resulted in the death of more than a dozen civilians.
    The law, which prohibits the assembly of more than four people in an area, was put in place hours before the PSP had to start its march towards CM House.
    A large number of anti-riot police personnel had already been deployed at the road and almost all roads leading to the city's red zone had been sealed.
    PSP chairman Mustafa Kamal had said on Saturday that he expected “one million” people to march towards the “palace of the Sindh chief minister” for their rights.
    The rally was expected to move from the FTC building on Shahrah-e-Faisal. The rallying workers would register their protest against the ‘poor governance’ of the PPP government in Sindh, it had been announced.
    Kamal had previously criticised the government for failing to pay any heed to his party’s 18-day sit-in outside the Karachi Press Club. “A government delegation contacted us twice but instead of resolving our issues they tried to befool people,” he had said at a press conference on Saturday.
    At the time, the PSP chairman had said that the city’s Red Zone — where the Governor House, CM House, Sindh Assembly and other important government installations are located — was not a sacrosanct place where people could not lodge their protest.
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    Item Reviewed: PSP million march: Police arrest Mustafa Kamal, other leaders Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Abdul Sattar Qamar