Pak: One dead in protest against local govt law in Sindh



Islamabad: One person was killed and six more were injured when people protesting against a new local government law clashed with police in Sindh province of southern Pakistan on Monday.

The trouble erupted when some unidentified men fired at a police van in Nawabshah this afternoon during a protest organised by the Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz and other Sindhi nationalist groups.

Police launched a crackdown and tried to arrest some persons. This resulted in clashes between police and the protestors.

One person was killed and six more were injured as the protestors and police exchanged fire, TV news channels reported.

A mob also torched a police station and several shops and motorcycles. Footage on television showed the burning police station.

Policemen fired in the air and used teargas to disperse the protestors. Nawabshah is considered a stronghold of the family of President Asif Ali Zardari, who heads the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party.

The Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz, Sindh Bachao Committee and other groups organised the protest against the introduction of a new local government law.

Life came to a standstill in many towns and cities across Sindh. The Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz also protested against the failure of authorities to register an FIR for the murder of its chairman Bashir Ahmad Quraishi.

Many towns and cities shut down while traffic on the roads was thin. Classes were suspended in most educational institutions.

However, the situation in Karachi, the capital of Sindh province, was normal. At a few places, mobs torched buses and trucks though there was no loss of life, officials said.

Earlier in the day, the Sindh People's Local Government Ordinance was passed by the Sindh Assembly amidst protests by the opposition.

The ordinance was tabled by provincial Law Minister Ayaz Soomro and 149 members voted in favour of the ordinance while 18 opposed it.

PTI