Opp slams authorities for arresting workers


KARACHI: The opposition parties said that February 27 would be a “Black Day” and blasted the government for using baton charges to arrest their supporters. They called the action a “ambush on democracy and mandate.”


Many employees of the Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA), Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI), and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) were detained by police in Karachi earlier in the day. They had entered the high-security Red Zone in violation of Section 144 to express their disapproval of the alleged rigging of the general elections on February 8.

During the first session of the Sindh Assembly, the opposition parties announced a combined demonstration outside the building.
However, as a result of police intervention, the protests expanded throughout the city and negatively impacted traffic on major thoroughfares.

Holding banners and placards, the demonstrators yelled anti-election chants and accused those involved of election rigging.
The chief of JI Karachi, Engr Hafiz Naeemur Rehman, declared that they would fiercely oppose the actions taken against JI and its affiliated parties.

“Black Day, February 27, will be observed by Jamaat-e-Islami and her allies in resistance against the ambush on democracy and mandate against ‘fascism’ faced by the Grand Democratic Alliance and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf,” he said in a statement.

He reported that a large police presence had fenced off the Sindh Assembly building and that access to the roadways had been blocked with containers.

He vehemently denounced the actions of the police against GDA women outside the assembly building.
The leader of JI urged people in positions of authority to respect the results of the election and recognize the current situation.

A “massive protest is a clear announcement that people will not accept the bogus results,” he added, adding that “those who won should join the assemblies and those who lost should not be imposed on the people.”

Rehman stated again that “democratic resistance is the way forward for the political parties” and that “rectification of election results in accordance with Form-45 is imperative.”

He said that the JI has successfully closed the gap between Sindh’s urban and rural areas.

“We will continue our joint struggle [against poll rigging],” he declared, emphasizing that all democratic and constitutional means would be employed in the endeavor.

Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri, the leader of the JUI, separately denounced the police’s use of baton charges and bombardment of the opposition parties’ employees.

In a statement, he claimed that “the true face of the Peoples Party was revealed with the police baton charge and shelling on the peaceful workers of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam.”

“The PPP wants to use hooliganism to enslave the Sindh government and repress the JUI workers.”

Sardar Abdul Rahim, the GDA’s information secretary, had earlier stated that “over 2,000 party workers have been arrested by the police” in Karachi.

He told reporters outside the Karachi Press Club that the GDA would not stop protesting unless their demands were fulfilled.