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Islamabad Protests: All Eyes On Karachi

When I was returning back from university to home, I was stuck in the traffic for more than fifteen minutes amid massive influx of public and private transports; suddenly Islamabad’s protests came to my mind. I was conjuring up an image of Karachi and Islamabad – Islamabad and Punjab’s prime cities have been besieged, whilst the economical hub of Pakistan, Karachi is like chalk and cheese.

Over the span of 15 to 16 days, political crisis have been at their boiling point and protesters are still occupying ‘red zone’ area of the capital, Islamabad. Strangely, residents of Punjab are looking towards the city of Quaid – Karachi. Karachi’s role is being massively discussed on social media networks by political supporters of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT). Scores of twitteratis are considering that closure of Karachi, a city which generates 70% revenue for the state and government, will be the last nail in the coffin of Nawaz Sharif’s premiership. Although, the same mindset always condemned MQM when they halted the city for their fundamental rights.

For the last days, Imran Khan has also focused on the role of Karachi in the neoteric mounting turmoil. Few days back, PTI announced ‘shutter down’ strike in Karachi amid Islamabad mayhem on Sunday. Further, Khan ordered party workers to occlude roads in the major cities including Karachi. Eventually, the party policy unleashed a frenzy of rage in Lahore and other cities.


PTI’s leadership and Karachi based office-bearers including Shireen Mazari, Naz Baloch, Ali Zaidi, Arif Alvi and others had always abrogated and reprimanded Karachi’s closure before this. The same party always expressed concerns over the daily wages workers and estimated cumulative economic losses, whenever Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) announced to shut down the city; either against custodial killings or for local bodies system.





When we throw a glance at past history, we figure out that three consecutive governments were thrown down during the period of 90’s because of their actions in Karachi, in the infamous ‘operation clean-up’. Nawaz Sharif – Benazir Bhutto – and then Nawaz Sharif, three premiers had to retire owing to back-to-back strikes in Karachi against the custodial killings of specific political party’s workers and supporters. Therefore, Karachi can play a pivotal role in the escalating political uncertainty.

MQM’s chief, Altaf Hussain has also warned that government’s violent tactics may deteriorate his patience and he may fail to control the sentiments of people of Sindh. Commensurate with the latest developments, it seems like, ice has started to thaw between top leadership of arch-rivals PTI and MQM. PTI’s vice chairman has made contact with Altaf Hussain on Sunday. Mr. Qureshi has expressed Imran Khan’s gratitude to MQM’s chief for observing mourning day against government’s anti-protesters aggression.

However, it is deplorable that no one comes forward to raise voice against the injustice practices towards the people of Karachi. Woefully, it has never been witnessed that any political party or group came out for the justified and guaranteed constitutional rights of the Karachi-iets.

The question is: Do you think that if Karachi joins the protesters then it will be set back to Nawaz’s regime like past?, whilst should Karachi and Sindh have to join the protest and demand prime minister to resign?

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