Published On: Sat, Sep 14th, 2019
Published in Category: Karachi

PPP demands fresh elections as Karachi row heats up

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KARACHI/ISLAMABAD : Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) on Friday called for fresh elections in the country amid tensions with the federal government over administrative affairs of Karachi.

Addressing a press conference in Karachi, PPP senior leader and former chairman Senate Mian Raza Rabbani and Sindh Information Minister Saeed Ghani said that talk of invoking Article 149 in Karachi would have grave consequences.

The two PPP leaders said that the constitution only allowed the federal government to advise the provincial authorities under Article 149, and talks of federal government intervening directly in Karachi were illegal.

Referring to earlier statements made by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government officials, PPP leader Raza Rabbani warned that there would be strong implications if Sindh was divided.

“There are lots of states in India that have special status. The fall back in India could harm Pakistan as well. Those who are thinking about article 149 should keep the regional context in mind,” Rabbani said.

Raza Rabbani was referring to the August 5 annexation of Indian-occupied Kashmir by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the military curfew which had followed it, sparking global outrage.

Meanwhile, speaking to media in Islamabad, PPP senior leader Syed Khursheed Ahmed Shah said the law minister’s comments regarding Article 149(4) were a conspiracy against the federation.

“The article is an old desire of MQM and the current government is getting stuck in this web. The government needs to understand what Farogh Naseem is trying to do,” he said, adding: “Devastation will spread in Karachi with the minister’s remarks.”

He said that the Supreme Court should take suo motu notice of the law minister’s comments on Article 149.

PPP Senator Sherry Rehman said that Foreign Minister Qureshi had commented without listening to Bilawal’s statement, adding that the PPP chairperson had criticised the concepts of “Sindhu desh” and “Pakhtunistan”.

“I challenge the government representatives to prove animosity towards the state in Bilawal’s remarks,” she said and added that the PPP was the voice of the federation. “In political opposition, the government has resorted to making allegations of the enemy of the state.”

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