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PSP Chief amongst several arrested following clashes with Police

Karachi (May 14, 2017): Police have detained Pak Sar Zameen Chairman Mustafa Kamal, while the situation got tensed after police water-cannoned and shelled tear gas to resist workers of Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) enterting the Red Zone and the Chief Minister (CM) House on Sunday in ‘Million March’ rally.

According to details, Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) Chairman Syed Mustafa Kamal along with many of his party leaders and supporters were rounded up following clashes with law enforcement agencies in Karachi on Sunday evening.

Police have baton charged the PSP supporters, who participated in a march called by party chief Mustafa Kamal in bid to have the government meet their demands, whereas police has also arrested PSP Chairman Mustafa Kamal.

PSP supporters and police clashed with each other as they were marching from Shahrah-e-Faisal towards Chief Minister.

Dr. Sagheer Ahmed and Raza Haroon have also been rounded up by the police.

Talks conducted between Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and PSP resulted in a deadlock fanning the clashes with police. The parties could not agree on six demands, according to the sources.

On Saturday, PSP chief had said that he expects one million people to march towards the “Palace of the Sindh Chief Minister” for their rights. He presented 16 demands to resolve problems faced by citizens of Karachi.

Earlier addressing the workers at his party’s protest camp at Shahrah-e-Faisal, Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) President Anis Qaimkhani claimed they had obtained permission for their rally. “Come 6pm they [Sindh government] won’t know what hit them as hundreds of thousands will be out on the streets.”

Interior Minister Chaudhary Nisar strongly condemned the police shelling and water cannoning on public.

As details of the clash poured in, it was realised that Dr Sagheer and Raza Haroon, two leaders of the political organisation were detained among dozens of political workers.

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Police also detained more than 10 party workers. Anees Qaimkhani was hit by water canon, although party workers, later on, surrounded him to save him from any harm. Police also used water cannon to disperse the crowd gathered near Aisha Bawany College.   

Meanwhile, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan condemned the detainment of the PSP leaders. Nisar said the action against a peaceful political rally is completely illogical.  

Police sources informed that more than 20 people have been taken into custody and shifted within the remits of Artillery Maidan police station.Earlier, the talks between Pak Sarzameen Party and Pakistan Peoples`Party  failed to reach a breakthrough.

The PSP representatives said that the party would only re-enter into negotiations only when the authorities let its protestors gather outside the Chief Minister House. The four-member PPP delegation; included Murtaza Wahab, Rashid Rabbani and Waqar Mehdi and was led by Sindh Health Minister Dr Sikandar Ali Mandhro.The negotiations were held near Aisha Bawani School.

Earlier PSP President Anis Qaimkhani said that there is no ‘Red Zone’ for the public. We will come out on the streets no matter what for the sake of our children’s future.

This was stated by Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) President Anis Qaimkhani while addressing the media at his party’s protest camp at Shahrah-e-Faisal.

PSP plans to hold a ‘Million March’ on Sunday from Shahrah-e-Faisal to the Chief Minister House. The purpose of the rally — led by PSP chief and former city mayor Mustafa Kamal — is to press the provincial government to supply residents of the metropolis with basic necessities. Speaking to the media, Qaimkhani claimed they had obtained permission for their rally. “Come 6pm they [Sindh government] won’t know what hit them as hundreds of thousands will be out on the streets.”

Earlier in the day, Commissioner Ejaz Ahmed Khan stated that a ban [Section 144] on assembly of persons in the Red Zone — where the Chief Minister House is situated — will be strictly enforced.  As part of the PSP rally, protesters will gather near FTC Bridge on Shahrah-e-Faisal to march to the CM House.

Police have finalised a traffic plan so that commuters do not face difficulties while travelling around the route of the rally. For instance, those coming from Korangi, Landhi and Defence will pass from Korangi Road, Korangi Industrial Area and then Shah Faisal Colony to go towards the airport.

The march is being held to protest against the authorities for not providing the public with basic necessities such as water and electricity. The demands are a part of a 16-point list that the party has put forward. During a recent press conference, Kamal lashed out at the city mayor regarding the K-IV water project, saying the latter did not know where the water will come from and where it will go, with regards to the project.  He also said PSP held an 18-day protest outside Karachi Press Club for the rights of the people. “We even held negotiations with the government, but our 16-point demand was not approved,” he remarked. “We just want the people to be provided with water, electricity and garbage disposal facilities.”

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