Civil society joins MQM-P women-only protest against police action – Journal

KARACHI: A large number of women, including human rights activists and civil society members, participated in a protest organized by the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) at the Teen Talwar Junction in Clifton in protest against recent action against women and children.

They condemned what they called police brutality against participants in Wednesday’s MQM-P rally against the controversial Local Government Law and the silence of the Pakistan People’s Party leadership over the continued exploitation of Sindh urban.

MQM-P leaders and human rights activists, while addressing the women-only protest, questioned the “criminal silence” of PPP President Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari who, although he is chairman of the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Human Rights, did not bother to say a single word about the recent Karachi police attack on women and children.

Subzwari questions Bilawal’s silence on human rights abuses in Sindh

They called him a “double standard” of the ruling PPP, which on the one hand describes itself as the “champion of human rights” and on the other uses “all tactics” to silence the voice of his opponents.

Apart from party leaders, the protest was also attended by Mahnaz Rahman of the Aurat Foundation, women’s rights activist Sheema Kermani and other members of civil society.

Addressing the protest, MQM-P Senator Faisal Subzwari said the PPP Chairman never took a second to issue a statement if a human rights violation was reported in any party from the country. “But when it comes to Sindh and police brutality against our sisters and mothers, he chooses to remain silent.”

“This silence proves that whatever the police did against our wives and children, it was not their own decision. It proves that whatever happened [the police action] got the blessing of Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and the government of Sindh,” he said.

He said the Sindh government could not hide the facts with might and might.

The protest also passed a resolution rejecting the Sindh Local Government (Amendment) Bill 2021 and demanded action against police officers involved in the abuse and attack of MQM-P workers.

Participants also demanded an autonomous local government system.

Posted in Dawn, January 30, 2022

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