Friday Sep 13 2019
Web Desk

PPP demands fresh elections as Karachi row heats up

Web Desk

The Pakistan People Party (PPP) on Friday called for fresh elections in the country amid tensions with the federal government over administrative affairs of Karachi.

Addressing a press conference in Karachi, PPP leader Raza Rabbani and Sindh Information Minister Saeed Ghani said that talk of invoking Article 149 in Karachi would have grave consequences. 

The two PPP leaders said that the constitution only allowed the federal government to advise the provincial authorities under Article 149, and talks of federal government intervening directly in Karachi were illegal.

Referring to earlier statements made by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government officials, PPP leader Raza Rabbani warned that there would be strong implications if Sindh was divided. 

"There are lots of states in India that have special status. The fall back in India could harm Pakistan as well. Those who are thinking about article 149 should keep the regional context in mind," Rabbani said.

Rabbani was referring to the August 5 annexation of Indian-occupied Kashmir by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the military curfew which had followed it, sparking global outrage. 

Earlier today, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi had said that the centre would not interfere in the workings of the Sindh government.

Speaking in the National Assembly, Qureshi assured parliamentarians from Sindh that the federal government would not let any harm come in the way of provincial autonomy.

“Our MNAs from Sindh should not have any concerns,” Qureshi said.

Criticising Pakistan Peoples Party Chairman Bilawal Zardari, Qureshi said it was the beginning of Bilawal's political career and the PPP chief should be careful about what he says. “I do not have doubts about Bilawal’s patriotism, but he should exercise caution while speaking on such matters.”