KARACHI - Putting aside fear of continuous violence in the area, the youth of Lyari on Wednesday came out and held a dialogue to ascertain the causes behind the present situation of this old area of the City.
The event was organised by the Youth for Education, Learning and Leadership (Yell), a network of youths of Lyari and Strengthening Participatory Organisation (SPO) at the Karachi Press Club.
The event was held to discuss the issue of forcible migration of people in the wake of ongoing fighting between the Baba Ladla and Uzair Baloch groups, causing the lives of the locals miserable. A large number of girls and boys, who are working as volunteers with the Yell participated in the event.
A documentary prepared by a young journalist Razak Sarbazi was also shown in the event. The documentary exhibited the social, cultural and commercial life of Lyari. The documentary also contained brief comments of intellectuals, poets, artists and journalists who put light on the glorious past of Lyari in the field of education, politics and sports.
It was informed through the documentary that there were street schools, coaching centres as well as sports’ clubs in Lyari as people were living with harmony and love without any concept of violence culture. Lyari had remained the centre of democratic movements from 1960’s, when people of the area supported Fatima Jinnah in the elections against the then ruler Ayub Khan. Umar Lasi, a social activist of Lyari, told the audience that military as well as democratic governments through their groups introduced violence culture with an aim to end its social and political culture.
The two criminal groups occupied their areas on gunpoint by making the residents hostage, he said. He narrated that fear grips the area as both sides use bombs and hand grenades. These gangs have divided the area as people of one area cannot go to other area of other group, he disclosed.
Without sharing the data, he said several people of the area left Lyari and were living on rent in other areas. He also termed the silence of civil society and political parties on the humanitarian issue of Lyari as unfortunate. Censuring the role of the law enforcement agencies, social activist of the Lyari alleged that police and rangers are patronising these criminal groups. The ongoing operation is a failure and the LEAs are not providing protection to the Lyari residents from these criminal gangs. Nasreen Baloch of SPO, social activist Aftab Baloch and other members of Yell demanded the government to provide protection to the people of Lyari by ensuring peace.
Kashmir Day observed in Karachi with zeal: Like other parts of the country, Kashmir Solidarity Day was also observed in the metropolis on Wednesday with zeal and enthusiasm to express solidarity with the Kashmiris.
Political parties have also staged rallies and processions to mark the day with full sanctity while the leaders reaffirmed their support for Kashmir cause.
Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) Karachi chapter took out a Kashmir Solidarity rally from Jail Chowrangi to Mazar-e-Quaid. A large number of JI workers including children, elderly men and people belonging to different walks of life participated in the rally. They raised party flags, banners and posters inscribed with slogans ‘Say No to India brutality in Kashmir’, ‘Instead of giving MFN status to India, liberate Kashmir from India’.
Addressing the rally, JI leader Liaquat Baloch said the peace could not be restored in the world without resolving the Kashmir and Palestine issues. The government should follow the national policy on the Kashmir issue. “More than 10 million Kashmiris are fighting their right to self determination for the last 66 years. The JI believed that the people of Kashmir will get their final destination.”
Baloch demanded the Organisation of Islamic Conference to play its due role in resolving the Kashmir issue and raise its voice over the deteriorated situation in Syria, Egypt and Palestine. Criticising the Nawaz league policies on national issues, he said the strategy of the PML-N government was not reflecting the sentiments of the people of the country.
Lambasting Musharraf policies, he said the former dictator had damaged the Kashmir cause and other national issues by pulling the nation into the war on terror after 9/11. He further asserted that the peace could not be restored through military operation or suicide attacks, however, deliberations are the only way for restoration of lasting peace in the country.
JI Karachi chief Hafiz Naeem urged the Muslim Ummah to stand united for the resolution of Kashmir issue. The PML-N should take brave stance in order to resolve the longstanding issue according to the desire of Kashmiris. On the other hand, Jamat-ud-Dawa leader Hafiz Abdul Rehman said the UN had failed to resolve the Kashmir issue while Pakistan government despite promoting trade with India should focus on the resolution of Kashmir issue.
He further said that India wants to enhance its control in the Kashmir valley as it was planning to establish a wall on the boundaries. He added that solution of the Kashmir issue is vital for the peace in the region while international countries including the Muslim world should play their role to stop Indian barbarism in the Kashmir. Makboza-e-Kashmir Hurriyat leader Shabbir Shah via telephone vowed to continue struggle for the independence of Kashmir. PML-N leader Saleem Zia, JI Karachi chief Naeemur Rehman, JuD Karachi chief Dr Muzammil Iqbal Hashmi, Jamiat Ulema Pakistan Siddique Rathore, Awami Muslim League leader Mehfooz Yar Khan, Jamiat Ulema Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) Qari Ghulam Yaseen, Jamiat Ulema Islam-Sami (JUI-S) Ghulam Mustafa Farooqi also spoke on the occasion.
They insisted to resolve the Kashmir issue according to the United Nations’ resolutions.
Similarly, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf Sindh chapter organised a demonstration outside the KPC to express solidarity with the people of Kashmir. He said the Kashmir issue was a key in normalising the relations between India and Pakistan. The peace cannot be attained until the Kashmir issue is not resolved.