KARACHI   -  Disgruntled Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) leader Dr Farooq Sattar on Friday announced staging a sit-in protest against the irregularities in anti-encroachment drive in the city.

The demonstration would be held on MA Jinnah Road Karachi on Saturday (Today) and it would be attended by the affected shopkeepers, representatives of private schools association and resident of government quarters.

Sattar made this announcement while addressing a press conference at Karachi Press Club (KPC) along with the members of the MQM-P Organisation Restoration Committee.

MQM-P former Deputy Convener said that efforts were being made to push Karachi into violence and crime under the guise of the ongoing anti-encroachment drive in city. Operation has lost its direction while the government has failed justify its agenda behind the anti-encroachment drive in Karachi and it seems like planned in progress to handover port city on contract.

Sattar who is head of MQM-P Organization Restoration Committee said that “we are not going to tolerate any injustice with the people of Karachi and even ready to offer resistance against unjustified operation in city”. So far the operation has affected more than five thousand people and in result it has also snatched the employments of 0.5millions people, he added.

Terming the irregularities in the anti-encroachment drive, Sattar said that MQM-P ORC stood with the victims of the operation and going to hold massive protest on Saturday (today) at M A Jinnah Road. He said that paramilitary force Ranger and Police did restore the peace of city but currently plan to destroy the tranquility of Karachi is progress under the guise of ongoing anti-encroachment drive.

I want to notify Chief Minister Sindh, Governor Sindh, Mayor Karachi and MQM-P Bahadurabad leadership that the situation might go out of control if the people come out on roads against the injustice, said Sattar.

He recalled that rulers compensated the affectees of Mangla and Tarbela dams and also awarded them visas of United Kingdom and USA but in Karachi legal process was not followed as the shopkeepers were not given the time to vacate the land. The concerned authorities in grab of Supreme Court orders demolished legal properties of the citizens; which is a sheer injustice and a condemnable act”, Sattar added.

He alleged that CM Sindh, Governor Sindh and Mayor Karachi were the part of this nexus and completely involved in the episode of injustice with poor people. Chief Justice of Pakistan with a goodwill directed the conduct the operation against the encroachment but it direction was changed, he added.  

Sattar said that entire situation is quite disturbing and further unfairness would force the people to utter that such victimization was never witnessed at the time of MQM rule under the leadership of Altaf Hussain. 

Sattar demanded the government to announce regularization policy for the shops and houses of the common men adding that the MQM-P ORC will continue its struggle till the restoration of the businessess of the affected shopkeepers.

On the other side, MQM-P convener and federal minister for IT and telecommunication Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui addressing a press conference at MQM-P headquarters stated that Mayor Karachi Waseem Akhter got the mandate from apex court to run the anti-encroachment drive in Karachi and he did his best to remove encroachments from roads and streets in the city.

However, he pointed out that few other institutions were also taking part in the anti-encroachment drive which was not under the Mayor office and their own acts had affected the campaign. He said that not even a single house was demolished by the KMC and the MQM-P will not let it happen. He blamed the Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA) for the overall crisis and defended the Mayor Karachi by stating that no such orders to demolish houses were released from Mayor Office.

Siddiqui appealed the Chief Justice of Pakistan to take notice of the losses in the drive and to reconsider the matter on humanitarian grounds. He further asked CJP to empower Mayor Karachi so that the issues of the city could be resolved. He said that Karachi is already under-counted and it has no adequate health and sanitation facilities while other political forces of the city were attempting to capture city through Goth schemes.

Speaking on the occasion, Mayor Karachi Waseem Akhter lambasted Dr Farooq Sattar stating that people those have lost creditability were calling to hold protest outside mayor office. Right now Sattar trying to mislead people to remain in politics, he added.

Mayor said that we were making every possible effort for the rehabilitation of affectees and will not leave the victims unattended. KMC doesn’t have the mandate to demolish houses as it is the job of the SBCA which is under the Sindh government. KMC on its part will relocate 1,400 shopkeepers in the first phase. And if any house is demolished, I will resign from my post in protest said Waseem and asked CJP to revisit the matter to prevent the crisis deepen.