KARACHI: Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), while rejecting the Sindh budget 2015-16, called for a province-wide strike on Sunday.
MQM’s coordination committee said that Pakistan Peoples Party has exhibited a biased and discriminatory approach by presenting an anti-Sindh budget which is “specifically against the urban areas”.
MQM also announced protests against the provincial budget at every possible platform.
Earlier on Saturday, the Sindh Cabinet members approved proposals for the 2015-16 provincial budget of approximately Rs739 billion.
The budget was presented in the Sindh Assembly by provincial Finance Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah amidst shouts and sloganeering from the opposition.
“This budget is prepared with focus on the overall prosperity of the people through optimal utilisation of the resources to achieve targets of socio-economic development,” the finance minister said during his budget speech.
Meanwhile, Interior Minister Chaudhary Nisar Ali Khan said that strikes should not be called on petty issues, saying “it is against democratic norms”.
While addressing a press conference on Saturday evening, Nisar said that strike, and sit-ins are not the solution of anything. He was trying to dilute the effects of prime minister’s statement which has stirred a controversy.
MQM had reacted strongly on Friday to Nawaz Sharif’s remarks that referred to ‘culture of strike and protest’ in Karachi and the party’s chief Altaf Hussain sought an apology from him for allegedly making degrading comments about people of the city.
Addressing a press conference at the MQM headquarters here by telephone from London, the MQM chief said the prime minister’s remarks had hurt sentiments of millions of people of the city who always raised voice against injustice.
“I am not against Nawaz Sharif but he should be careful in his choice of words,” he said.
He also referred to the prime minister’s directives to Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad Khan to take steps to bring an end to the culture of strike in Karachi.
“What can that governor do when he is not aware of his own status — whether he is on the ECL (exit control list) or not. The prime minister should apologise for calling Karachiites a ‘makhi’ (fly).”
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