KARACHI: Police on Sunday arrested several senior Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) leaders including chairman Mustafa Kamal, vice-chairman Waseem Aftab, Raza Haroon and Dr Sagheer from their rally on Shahrah-e-Faisal in Karachi, ARY News reported.
PSP held a protest march demanding basic necessities of life for the citizens of Karachi, including water, electricity, education, health and better transport. The rally was taken out from the FTC flyover and was heading towards Chief Minister House, in red zone are of the metropolis.
Police resorted to baton-charge, teargas shelling and water canon firing on the participants of the rally who had barely reached near Aisha Bawany Academy school from FTC flyover.
Over a dozen PSP party workers were arrested and they were boarded to police vans along their leaders after being taken into custody. They were later shifted to Kalakot police station.
Water canon was also fired on President PSP Anees Qaimkhani, however party workers surrounded him to save him from any harm.
A large number of the party workers surrounded the police station demanding release of their leaders.
Earlier, talks between a PSP delegation and Pakistan Peoples Party failed to reach a consensus.
Kamal said they had not yet entered the red zone when they were arrested. He said the PSP workers did not hurl a stone and police started baton-charge on armless people.
“I have come out to demand civic facilities for our children. The government has spread the protest into streets,” he said. He said they were accompanied by women and children who also suffered police crackdown. Those cowards fired tear gas on peaceful crowd that was demanding water, he added.
Talking to ARY News, Minister Transport Sindh Syed Nasir Hussain Shah said since PSP had announced to surround the CM House, therefore, they were arrested.
“We cannot bear the politics of violence anymore. We had ensured them that work is already underway on several projects,” he said.
Earlier, Kamal said that the provincial government had curtailed the powers of local bodies, resulting in deterioration of infrastructure in the city.
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“We only want implementation of our 16 demands, no negotiations can be made on that,” he said.
In a press conference, Kamal had lambasted the government for neglecting his party’s 18-day protest sit-in outside Karachi Press Club.
Interior minister condemns arrests, shelling on PSP rally
Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan condemned the act of using force to disperse peaceful participants of the rally and said the Sindh government had failed to provide the citizens basic necessities of life.
“The constitution gives permission to masses for holding peaceful demonstrations,” he said.
Section 114 imposed in Red Zone
The provincial government had imposed Section 114 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) in the Red Zone of the city, ahead of the march.
It is pertinent to mention that Section 114 prohibits the assembly of more than four people in an area.