KARACHI - A partial strike was observed in Karachi on the call of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) against the ongoing power outages and water shortage in the metropolis.

Throughout the day flow of traffic remained smooth in most parts of the city. Some areas of the city however witnessed massive traffic jams due to JI’s protest on key roads of the city. Protest demonstrations led by JI activists were witnessed at more than 20 locations, including Shahrah-e-Faisal, Shah Faisal Colony, Malir, Kala Board, University Road, Gulshan-e-Maymar, Lea Market, Lyari, Moosa Colony, Banaras, Gizri and Punjab Chowrangi.

The protesters shouted slogans against the prolonged loadshedding and water shortage, demanding smooth supply of electricity to the city. The protesters threw tyres on the road, causing traffic jam in various localities. However, law enforcers dispersed the protesters soon. A few activists were arrested and later released. Overall, the city life remained normal and unaffected.

Talking to The Nation, Jamaat-e-Islami Information Secretary Zahid Askari claimed that the police took away at least seven to eight of their protesting workers from the protests at Malir, Shah Faisal and Gulshan-e-Maymar. However, he said, detainees would be released soon.

Addressing a press conference at Idara-e-Noorul-Haq, JI Karachi chief Hafiz Naeemur Rehman thanked people for their support to his party’s strike call to condemn irregularities in KE and KWSB. He asked the business community to open their businesses after the Friday prayers.

Naeem said that the city in the past witnessed unnecessary strikes on the call of MQM chief but JI called to shut down the city with an aim to highlight the key issues of citizens.

Party workers along with JI leaders also staged a protest demonstration against KE and KWSB but police assaulted and arrested workers who were on the roads to make the strike a success, alleged Naeem and blamed that MQM-Pakistan activists were putting up hurdles in the way of JI’s strike call and harassing shopkeepers who wanted to open their businesses.

“I thank the business community, transporters, various political and religious parties, other organizations and especially people of Karachi for observing a peaceful strike in the city as per the law stated in the constitution,” said Naeem.

The JI Karachi chief further said that party members had put their efforts in the ongoing protest drive against private power company and water supply authority whereas the JI leadership, after success of peaceful strike in Karachi, had determined to expand the scope of the protest drive. On the occasion, Naeem announced a protest outside KWSB office on Shahrah-e-Faisal.

JI leaders Dr Usama Razi, Abdul Wahab and Saifuddin Advocate were also present on the occasion.