Protest against Bilawal showcases PPP’s status in Lyari

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News Analysis |

Pakistan People’s Party on Sunday faced a difficult situation in Lyari, its major stronghold in Karachi when its party chairman and much-touted rising star Bilawal Zardari’s convoy came under attack by stone-pelters in Bihar Colony area of Lyari.

According to witnesses, initially Bilawal was met with mainly women holding utensils and chanting “Pani Do, Pani Do” (Give us water, Give us Water). When Bilawal’s security guards pushed them away this led to a violent reaction which culminated in the form of stone pelting. Several people were injured in the incident.

The PPP, which had been in power in Sindh for last 10 years, is facing rifts from within the party over allotment of party tickets in NA-246.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf has become a great beneficiary of this rebellion against the PPP, receiving support from the Pakhtun, Punjabi and Baloch communities dispersed in Lyari.

Former PPP National Assembly member Shahjahan Baloch and union council chairman Habib Hassan had announced that they will contest on provincial constituencies of the area. A former PPP leader Habib Jan Baloch, who was also a close associate of gangster-leader and PPP stalwart Uzair Jan Baloch, had also announced contesting polls against Bilawal from NA-246.

According to sources, those who pelted stones at Bilawal’s caravan belonged to Kutchi community. The Kutchi are a subcaste of the Urdu speaking Memon community. Lyari is the oldest human settlement of Karachi city. The first inhabitants of Lyari were Sindhi fishermen and Baloch nomads. Now the ethnic mix has increased to include Muhajirs, Kashmiris, Seraikis, Pakhtuns, Memons, and Punjabis.

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Locals have lambasted PPP for its role in the difficulties inflicted on the people of Lyari. They contend that the PPP’s rule of Lyari has nothing been short of catastrophy for the locals. The Gang war imposed by the militant wings of the PPP known as People Aman Committees led to the destruction of two generations of the Baloch and Kutchi community. PPP nepotism, corruption and negligence deprived the local populace of water forcing them to use sewerage water for household purposes.

Pakistan People’s Party on Sunday faced a difficult situation in Lyari, its major stronghold in Karachi, when its party chairman and much touted rising star Bilawal Zardari’s convoy came under attack by stone-pelters in Bihar Colony area of Lyari.

The much touted Lyari University has become a den of drugs and gun running due to political interference and corruption. Before the Rangers operation, the economy of Lyari crashed as it became a no go zone for other Karachiites. Gunmen and extortionists prowled the streets making life miserable for local businesses whose despairs were compounded by the daily “discoveries” of mutilated bodies in gunny bags in the backstreets of Lyari.

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PPP’s abysmal rule in Lyari has led to electoral difficulties for the PPP. Surveys indicate that the traditional supporters of the PPP have become disappointed and vow not to vote for the PPP. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf has become a great beneficiary of this rebellion against the PPP, receiving support from the Pakhtun, Punjabi and Baloch communities dispersed in Lyari.


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