Ramzan Chandio/Nazir Siyal
KARACHI/LARKANA - The Sindh government beefed up security following a string of attacks on the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) ministers and lawmakers across the province on Tuesday.
Unidentified people attacked with hand grenade the residence of Sindh Local Government Minister Agha Siraj Durrani in Shikarpur, damaging its main gate. The minister’s family remained unhurt. Following the attack, lawmen reached the site and launched a hunt for the attackers.
Siraj Durrani is stated to be a close aide of President Asif Ali Zardari and a strong supporter of the controversial local government law, which was widely being opposed by the Sindh nationalist parties.
Condemning the onslaught, Siraj Durrani said such acts could not shatter his resolve to serve the people. He said the attack was part of an attempt to block the Garhi Yasin rally in support of the new local government system. He, however, said the PPP would hold a public meeting in Hyderabad on October 15 to back this system.
In Larkana, a bag packed with explosive material and grenades found from the residence of Sindh Law Minister Muhammad Ayaz Soomro. The bomb disposal squad reached the site and defused the bombs. Separately, explosive material was found from the residence of Sindh Assembly Speaker Nisar Ahmed Khuhro in Larkana where the police claimed to have arrested a suspect in this connection.
The housekeeper of Soomro said he informed the police about a suspicious bag beneath a car. Later, the police along with the bomb disposal squad raced up to the site and defused the explosives.
Homemade bombs were also recovered from the residences of MPAs Mir Haji Hayat Talpur in Digir town and Imdad Pitafi in Hyderabad.
In a similar incident, a five-kg bomb was defused at the residence of MPA Fasih Shah in Nawabshah. Condemning the back-to-back strikes, Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Memon said these attempts could not terrify the PPP members of Sindh Assembly.
He dubbed the onslaughts as a plot against Sindh, saying that such attacks were part of a heinous conspiracy against the province and its tradition. “Opposition is a democratic right but such acts could not be tolerated,” the minister warned.
He added: “We don’t want to wage war on anyone, but our mildness should not be taken as weakness. On October 15, we will hold a historic public gathering in Hyderabad to prove that the people are with us.”
The minister said that if some people had objection to local bodies law, they should convey the same to the government through proper channels.
Following the attacks, the Sindh government augmented security around the residences of lawmakers and alerted the law enforcers across the province.
Police claimed to have nicked a man carrying pamphlets blaming the attacks on Sindhu Desh Liberation Army.
A suspicious bag with pamphlets from the Sindhu Desh Liberation Army was also found at the residence of MPA Mir Hayat Talpur in the Digree area of Mirpurkhas.
On Sunday, six PPP activists and a reporter working for a TV channel were killed and 10 people, including three reporters and the administrator of Khairpur Taluka Municipal Administration, injured when a group of gunmen opened fire on a PPP public meeting in Khairpur’s Sadoro Janwari village.