By: Khalid Hasnain
LAHORE, Sept 7: The Awami Tehrik’s Islamabad-bound ‘Muhabbat-i-Sindh train march’ reached Lahore on Friday in a bid to mobilise people against reintroduction of the Local Government System, proposed plan for establishing Zulfikarabad and alleged corruption by the PPP and the MQM in Sindh.
“These poor people have not come here for recreation but have left their homes just to save Sindh through Muhabbat-i-Sindh rally from the corrupt PPP-led coalition,” AT chief Ayaz Latif Palijo told a big gathering at the Lahore railway station. This is the first extensive public mobilisation campaign against the coalition government by any left-wing political party.
The train march was warmly greeted at all major railway stations in Punjab, including Rahim Yar Khan, Khanewal, Sahiwal and Okara.
At Lahore, scores of Labour Party Pakistan (LPP) workers led by Farooq Tariq and trade unionists and activists received the participants by hoisting their party flags. The AT workers responded to the gesture with joyous dancing to national and Sindhi songs played through an electronic music system installed by the march managers in train.
“For holding the train march, we have spent money from our own pocket and through donations from those poor people who want a rapid and positive change in society,” Ms Hassna, the AT women wing’s head, commented while talking to this reporter.
She said as her party believed that a majority of people in Pakistan wanted change, it had started efforts at the grassroots level.
Mahmood Ali, another AT worker, said the people of Sindh were annoyed with the government for its failure to rescue Karachi from the clutches of terrorists.
“The Sindhis now want change because they are fed up with the system of Wadera Shahi (feudalism) and massive corruption in their province. I also want to tell you that the PPP has handed over Karachi to the MQM and international powers,” said the party head.
He said the Sindhis had woken up to the realisation that conspiracies were being hatched to divide their province.
While rejecting the proposal for establishing Zulfikarabad and new provinces and holding LG polls before the general election, he said the AT would resist all these moves tooth and nail.
“We are not among those who buy polling stations and drown millions of people in floods,” he said and appealed to the Supreme Court of Pakistan to take a suo motu notice of the wrongdoings being committed by the PPP-MQM alliance.
Later, Mr Palijo told Dawn that the AT along with other left-wing parties had been mobilising the people against feudalism for a long time.
“We also plan to involve even other political parties including the PML-N, the PTI, the Jamaat-i-Islami and the ANP in the process. And although we will welcome participation of the PPP and the MQM workers in our move, we will not offer these parties leadership role,” he said.
He claimed his party’s move was fast gaining momentum as people from all walks of life were actively participating in their rallies and other events.